Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

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Korean director Bong Joon-ho, Palme d'Or award winner for his film "Parasite" (Gisaengchung), and  Song Kang-ho, at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival photocall after the closing ceremony in Cannes, France, on May 25, 2019. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
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Director Bong Joon-ho, Palme d'Or award winner for his film "Parasite" (Gisaengchung) poses with Song Kang-ho during the photocall at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival after the closing ceremony on May 25, 2019. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)
Updated 25 May 2019

Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

  • French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics" wins festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize
  • Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed”

CANNES, France: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s social satire “Parasite,” about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, on Saturday.
The win for “Parasite” marks the first Korean film to ever win the Palme. In the festival’s closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice had been “unanimous” for the nine-person jury.
The genre-mixing film had been celebrated as arguably the most critically acclaimed film at Cannes this year and the best yet from the 49-year-old director of “Snowpiercer” and “Okja.”
It was the second straight Palme victory for an Asian director. Last year, the award went to Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters.”
Two years ago, Bong was in Cannes’ competition with “Okja,” a movie distributed in North America by Netflix. After it and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” — another Netflix release — premiered in Cannes, the festival ruled that all films in competition needed French theatrical distribution. Netflix has since withdrawn from the festival on the French Riveira.
The festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize, went to French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics.” Diop was the first black female director in competition at Cannes.
Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed.”
Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory,” while best actress was won by British actress Emily Beecham for “Little Joe.”
Although few quibbled with the choice of Bong, some had expected Cannes to make history by giving the Palme to a female filmmaker for just the second time.
Celine Sciamma’s period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was the Palme pick for many critics this year, but it ended up with best screenplay.
In the festival’s 72-year history, only Jane Champion has won the prize in 1993, and she tied with Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.”

 


Feature film ‘Champions’ begins shooting in Jeddah

The crew kicked off filming this week. Supplied
Updated 23 February 2020

Feature film ‘Champions’ begins shooting in Jeddah

DUBAI: Feature film “Champions” began shooting in Jeddah this week, with filming scheduled for seven consecutive weeks. 

The 90-minute film, helmed by Oscar-winning producer Andrés Vicente Gómez and directed by Manuel Calvo, tells the story of an assistant coach in Saudi Arabia’s top football league called Khaled.

After an outburst, Khaled loses his job and begins to coach a group of players with intellectual disabilities. The film will follow the lead character as he struggles with his new role.

Starring Yasser Al-Saggaf, the host of MBC’s “The Voice,” alongside Fatima Al-Banawi of “Barakah Meets Barakah” fame, the film will also feature Jeddah-based people with intellectual disabilities.

A crew of 90 film professionals from Saudi Arabia and Spain will film in various locations across Jeddah before filming moves to Dubai.