Director Lee Chang Dong Of “Burning” Wins Lifetime Achievement Award At Asian Film Awards

Director Lee Chang Dong won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian Film Awards Academy.

According to the Asian Film Awards (AFA) organizing committee, the director will attend the awards ceremony in Hong Kong on March 17 and receive the award himself.

Wilfred Wong, who heads the AFAA and the organizing committee for the Hong Kong International Film Festival, shared, “Director Lee Chang Dong is one of the top film directors in the world. This award is given to him in order to recognize his work and his devotion and contributions to the development of Asian cinema. We look forward to the 100th anniversary of Korean films this year and to Lee Chang Dong’s contributions to the growth of Asian films.”

Lee Chang Dong said, “My movies often describe the political and economic problems of our country, but my main concern is always about humans. I believe that movies are the right medium to show us about humans. This award is a very heavy responsibility for me.”

Then he added, “When I asked myself if I deserved this award, what I had achieved, and how valuable it was to the audience and to our filmmakers, I think I still have a long way to go, and I have a lot to do. I will take this award as a reminder to work harder.”

Lee Chang Dong was a novelist who was drawing attention before becoming a film director, and he started his movie career by participating in a supporting role with the screenplay “To the Starry Island” (director Park Kwang Soo, 1993). He entered the film industry relatively late compared to his peers but rapidly came to be seen as an influential figure. His debut film “Green Fish” (1997) and second film “Peppermint Candy” (1999) described Korea’s political and economic problems at that time.

His third film, “Oasis” (2002), which was about two young people who were abandoned by their family and society, was invited to the Venice International Film Festival to receive a special director award and a Marcello Mastroianni Award. With success after success, director Lee Chang Dong has become one of the leading film directors in Asia, receiving praise from home and abroad.

Lee Chang Dong was later appointed as the Minister of Culture of South Korea. After resigning from his official position, he directed “Secret Sunshine” (2007), which stars Jeon Do Yeon and was entered at the 60th Cannes Film Festival. He then released his fifth film “Poetry” (2010). The story of a suburban woman in her 60s who begins to develop an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her irresponsible grandson was honored with Best Screenplay Award at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.

Then the director returned in 2018 with his latest film “Burning.” Based on Haruki Murakami’s short novel, the movie won the International Federation of Film Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It was also the first Korean film to be included on a shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Academy Awards.

Congratulations to director Lee Chang Dong on his achievement!

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