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Director Park 'Overwhelmed' by Berlin Film Fest Prize

2007/02/20 | 245 views | Permalink | Source

"I'm more than overwhelmed, since Berlin was the first film festival I'd ever attended. Back then I was more like a loutish country boy. To think of it now, Berlin is the festival I've attended most, since this is my fourth visit after 'JSA - Joint Security Area' in 2001, 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' in 2003, and a lecture during a workshop in 2006. I'm delighted to receive a prize this time".

Director Park Chan-wook took part in a phone interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday from Berlin, where the previous day he had been awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 59th Berlin Film Festival for his dark sci-fi comedy "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK". The prize named for the founder of the festival is one of the event's eight main awards and is given to filmmakers who open new perspectives in cinema.

Park's acceptance speech was quoted by AFP and other foreign news agencies and was selected as one of the best speeches of the day. Park asked that his wife forgive him for spending so much time on his work, and said, "When I get home, I hope she will tell our friends, 'My husband is a director but that's OK'."

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, known in Korea for his roles in "The Science of Sleep" and "Babel", was one of the jury of seven that chose the winner. "I heard that Bernal recommended our movie", Park said. "It was probably just him being polite, but he said he'd like to appear in one of my films -- and he even imitated Rain's yodelling from the movie".

Although his film saw disappointing box office results in Korea with just 730,000 viewers, Park said the award couldn't be compared to ticket sales. "The DVD sales might comfort me, but this prize and the box office are separate issues", Park said.

Another Asian film, Chinese director Wang Quanan's "Tuya's Marriage", took home the Golden Bear, the Berlinale's top prize. Meanwhile, the Jury Grand Prix was given to Argentinian producer Ariel Rotter for his movie "The Other", Best Director went to Israeli Joseph Cedar for "Beaufort", Best Actor went to Julio Chavez from Argentina for "The Other" and Best Actress was given to German Nina Hoss for "Yella".

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