You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Korea picks ‘Juvenile Offender’ as Oscars hopeful

Tough love drama hopes to correct Korea’s deficit in foreign-language race

HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards.

Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won the Special Jury award and the best actor prize for Seo Young-joo.

News of the selection was carried on the website of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) and announced in a press statement by the film’s distributor and backer, Timestory Group.

“’Juvenile Offender’ stood out in terms of the detailed directing, it was a universal yet Korean story, and the film was complete to the point where it was hard to point out any flaws,” the selection committee was quoted as saying.

After release from a lockup for teenagers, a youngster is reunited with the mother he did not know he ever had. But the cycle of misery seems set to continue when the boy learns his teenage girlfriend had been pregnant and was forced to give up her child.

“Offender” had its premiere in Toronto last year and enjoyed a Korean commercial release in Nov 2012.

At the beginning of August KOFIC revealed that it had selected nine films for a shortlist. Others included “The Berlin File,” “A Werewolf Boy,” “The Terror Live,” “The Face Reader,” “Jiseul,” “Mai Ratima,” “Montage” and “National Security.”

South Korea has had a huge impact of cinema in Asia for more than a decade and submitted powerful titles including “Pieta,” “Mother,” “Secret Sunshine” and Kim Ki-duk’s “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring” but none have ever received a nomination.

More Film

  • Kiersey Clemons

    Kiersey Clemons to Star in Jonás Cuarón's 'Zorro' Movie

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

  • Kristen Bell Pandas

    Film News Roundup: Kristen Bell to Narrate 'Pandas' Documentary for Imax

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

  • Lupita Nyong'o Trevor Noah

    Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Trevor Noah Biopic 'Born a Crime'

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

  • Shape of Water

    'Shape of Water' Ripped Off 1969 Play, Lawsuit Alleges

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

  • 'A Wrinkle in Time' May Top

    Will 'A Wrinkle in Time' Be the Film That Dethrones 'Black Panther'?

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

  • 'Unsane' Review: Claire Foy Brings Grit

    Berlin Film Review: 'Unsane'

    HONG KONG — “Juvenile Offender,” a tough mother and son drama featuring a youngster released from a correctional facility, has been selected to represent South Korea in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Directed by Kang Yi-kwan, the film made a powerful impression at the Tokyo festival in November last year where it won […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content