Busan: Bae Doona Receives French Honor

Korean actress Bae Doona on Saturday received the Etoile du Cinema award. The prize was created last year by the French Embassy in order to acknowledge those Korean film talents who have helped South Korea-French collaboration in cinema.

French Ambassador to South Korea, Philippe Lefort handed the trophy to the 39-year-old actress ahead of the world premiere screening of “#iamhere” at the Busan International Film Festival.

“#iamhere” is the biggest ever film co-produced by Korea and France. Directed by French filmmaker Eric Lartigau (“La Famille Belier”) and starring Chabat and Bae, the film revolves around a French man who travels to Korea to meet a Korean woman on social network service. France’s Gaumont is handling the film’s international sales and Next Entertainment World is distributing the film in Korea.

“It was a sweet memory to act alongside such an amazing actor as Alain Chabat. I am glad I could introduce Korea to my friends from France,” said Bae. “I have many French friends and working on this film with them was a great pleasure. Now that I’m even receiving an award for it, I feel that I need to keep working harder.”

Bae has worked with some of the world’s top directors including Korea’s Park Chan-wook (“Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”) and Bong Joon-ho (“The Host”), Japan’s Hirokazu Koreeda (“Air Doll”) and the Wachowski siblings (“Cloud Atlas,” “Jupiter Ascending,” “Sense8”). Other credits include “Take Care of My Cat” and last year’s “The Drug King.”

Another recipient of the French award is Kwak Shin-ae, CEO of Barunson E&A which produced Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning family tragicomedy “Parasite.” Kwak received her prize at French Night co-hosted by the French Embassy and UniFrance on Saturday night.

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