×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Korean Actor Song Kang-ho is First Asian Honored With Locarno Excellence Award

The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to leading South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, marking the first time this prestigious prize has gone to an Asian film personality.

Song, 52, who made his big screen debut at 29 in Hong Sang-soo’s edgy “The Day a Pig Fell into the Well” (1996), has since “never stopped experimenting,” said the Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema in a statement.

The fest also underlined the versatile talent’s masterful turns in works by South Korean filmmakers such as  Bong Joon-ho, Hong Sang-soo, Jee- woon Kim and Park Chan-wook that have propelled him to top star status at home and made him an international name.

His standout roles include turns in big-budget blockbuster “Shiri” (1999) directed by Kang Je-gyu; Kim Jee-woon’s wrestling comedy “The Foul King” (2000); Park Chan-wook’s “Joint Security Area” (2000); “Sympathy for Mr Vengeance” (2002) and “Thirst” (2009), Bong Joon-ho’s “Memories of Murder” (2003) and “Snowpiercer” in 2013, just to name a few. 

Song is at Cannes this year as protagonist of Bong’s “Parasite,” which is world premiering in competition.

“So far the recipients of this prize have all been American or European; but for me it was important to open it up to Asian cinema,” Locarno festival artistic director Lili Hinstin, who is at her debut edition, said in the statement.

She described Song as the “peerless interpreter of the variety and intensity of emotions generated by Korean cinema,” emphasizing the diversity of his work.

Song will receive the award on August 12 in Locarno’s Piazza Grande. He will also be holding a panel discussion the next day.

Previous Excellence Award recipients include, Ethan Hawke, Mathieu Kassovitz, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert. 

The 72nd edition of Locarno Film Festival will run August 7-17.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman. Alexander Skarsgard,

    Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard to Reunite for Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

    With his latest film “The Lighthouse” set to bow this weekend, Robert Eggers’ next film has cast two leads, “Big Little Lies” alums Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård. The pic, titled “The Northman,” is described as a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. In talks to join Kidman [...]

  • Jessica Henwick

    'Matrix 4' Taps 'Iron Fist' Star Jessica Henwick

    Jessica Henwick is in final negotiations to star in the upcoming fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise. She joins Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who will be reprising their roles in the film, as well as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was tapped as one of the leads last week. Neil Patrick Harris also just joined [...]

  • Frozen 2

    Record 32 Animated Feature Films Submitted for Oscars

    “The Addams Family,” “Frozen II,” “Toy Story 4,” “Abominable” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2” are among the record 32 movies submitted for the animated feature film category at the 2020 Oscars. Last year’s Academy Awards race boasted 25 entries, while 2017 had 26 and 2016 had 27 (a then-record). The list of contenders [...]

  • Bebe Rexha Drops Music Video From

    Bebe Rexha Drops Empowering Music Video From 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' (Watch)

    Bebe Rexha has dropped a video for her song “You Can’t Stop the Girl,” the female empowerment theme from Disney’s forthcoming “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video features scenes of Rexha reimagined as Maleficent and wandering through the film’s fantasy landscape, leading a marathon of women and snippets of the [...]

  • Sir Elton JohnElton John AIDS Foundation

    Recappin' Fantastic: The Most Fascinating Reveals from Elton John's Memoir, 'Me'

    How charming, and jaw-droppingly candid, is Elton John’s memoir, “Me”? Consider this: It’s a 350-page book that’s not so overly caught up in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — which, to be sure, it supplies in roughly equal, copious amounts  — that it won’t take a time-out to recount the party where Elton made [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Ryan Reynolds

    Market for Package Deals and Original Ideas Heats Up Ahead of Platform Launches

    Practically every studio in town wanted it, but in the end it was Apple that swept in to nab the reinterpretation of “A Christmas Carol” with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. To buy the highly coveted package, the tech giant was willing to shell out more than $60 million to the stars and the film’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content