Hong's 'Introduction' wins best screenplay in Berlin
Prolific Korean director Hong Sangsoo won the Silver Bear award for Best Screenplay at the 71st Berlin film festival on Friday for “Introduction.”
Hong was honored at the prestigious film festival for the second straight year, after he won the Silver Bear for Best Director last year for "The Woman Who Ran."
The 71st Berlinale was held entirely online from Monday to Friday due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the announcement of awards was streamed online.
“More than telling a story, or advancing a narration with efficiency, this script fabricates those momentary intervals between one action and another," a statement on the official website of the Berlinale reads, "where, for an instant, a hidden truth of human life is suddenly revealed, bright and lucid.”
Starring Shin Seok-ho and Park Miso, the film, divided into three chapters, tells the story of a young man and his girlfriend who look back on relationships between them and with others.
Instead of an acceptance speech, Hong uploaded a video on the Berlinale’s official website. The two-minute video first shows a letter of gratitude to the jury and the festival organizers. Then it shows a snail slowly crawling on a rocky surface, with the humming voice of actor Kim Minhee in the background singing the song "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)."
"I found this young snail a long time ago while on a walk with Kim Minhee around our place," Hong wrote in the letter. "And I wanted to show this snail as a small present to you all. It's a hard time. Take care, take good care of yourselves."
Kim has been a muse for Hong, appearing in several of his films including “Introduction.” She won the Silver Bear for Best Actress in 2017 for her performance in Hong's “On the Beach at Night Alone." In 2017 they admitted they were in a romantic relationship. Since Hong is married and his wife has been refusing him a divorce, the relationship with Kim has caused controversy in Korea.
The Golden Bear for Best Film went to "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" directed by Romania's Radu Jude. The satirical drama tells the story of a school teacher who struggles to defend her job and reputation after her sex video is leaked on the Internet. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize was given to "Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy" directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi from Japan.
Beginning this year, the Berlinale is no longer giving separate prizes for acting to male and female actors. Its first-ever gender-neutral prize for best leading performance went to German actor Maren Eggert for her performance in the sci-fi comedy "I'm Your Man".
The festival's organizers plan to hold an in-person awards ceremony in June if pandemic conditions permit.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]