Hong's latest pic was handed the grand prize for the "Un Certain Regard" category at the award ceremony, held May 22 (France time) at Debussy theater in Cannes, France.
"I will regard this as an encouragement to make my next film well", the 50-year-old director said while meeting with Korean reporters after he won the award. "I hope this will help everyone who has helped me make this film...... I am grateful that I could pay them back with at least this".
The actors and crew in "Ha Ha Ha" had reportedly worked on the film free of charge.
When told that he had defeated notable filmmakers from the East and the West such as Jean-Luc Godard, Manoel De Oliveira and Jia Zhangke, he jokingly remarked, "I don't know -- I haven't seen their films. How would I know what the judges were thinking".
"Ha Ha Ha" is about an aspiring filmmaker and a film critic who meet in the seaside city of Tong-young and share their life stories and experiences.
His pics "Woman is the Future of Man" (2004) and "Tale of Cinema" (2005) ran for the top Palme d'Or prize of the main competition and last year, he was invited to show his film "Like You Know It All" during the Director's Fortnight section.
With six trips to prestigious film fest, Hong holds the title for making most appearances at Cannes and has become the first Korean filmmaker to win an award in the "Un Certain Regard" category, which introduces films with various visions and styles from around the world.
This year, the judges panel for the category was presided over by French filmmaker Claire Denis and included Kim Dong-ho, executive chairman of Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) committee.
The Jury award for the section went to "Octubre", directed by Daniel Vega and Diego Vera", while the acting title was claimed by three actresses who starred in "The Lips" -- Adela Sanchez, Eva Bianco and Victoria Raposo.
Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok kave@
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
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"Hong Sang-soo scores first win at Cannes with "Ha Ha Ha""
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