Director Parc Chan Wook won big at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival becoming the second Korean director to win the coveted “Best Director” award at the prestigious event, boosting the global appeal of Korean entertainment.

He was nominated for his work on Decision to Leave which stars Park Hae Il and Chinese actress Tang Wei . Inspired by the Swedish crime novel series The Story of a Crime and, unexpectedly, the 1967 K-Pop song “Mist,” the story revolves around a Korean detective who falls in love with the enigmatic widow of a murdered Chinese immigrant as he tries to solve the man’s murder.

Decision to Leave Movie Poster | IMDb

With this award, Park Chan Wook is following in the footsteps of director Im Kwon Taek who was the first Korean filmmaker to win the “Best Director” award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival with the historical drama Chihwaseon .

Park Chan Wook ‘s Decision to Leave proves that Korean entertainment is only getting bigger and bigger among international audiences, just like Netflix ‘s Squid Game did last year and Bo Joon Ho ‘s Parasite did in 2019, the latter of which won the “Palme d’Or” at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and, of course, “Best Picture” at the 92nd Academy Awards (becoming the first Korean film to do so).

The cast of Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards | Reuters

The fact that Decision to Leave wasn’t the only Korean film to win this year ‘s Cannes film festival is particularly significant, and not just because it proves the massive reach of Korean entertainment. Speaking after the ceremony, Park Chan Wook shared some thoughts on the artistic collaborations between different Asian cultures in Decision to Leave, as well as another award-winning Korean film Courtier (directed by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda ).

While my film stars Chinese actress Tang, Courtier (with an all-Korean cast and dialogue) is directed and written by a Japanese filmmaker. It is significant that such exchanges of human resources and capital take place in Asia… And I am proud to see that Korea can be at the center of this.

—Park Chan Wook

IU, Gang Dong Won and Song Kang Ho in Broker | Mubi

Starring UI and actor Song Kang Ho , Broker also had a big night at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival with Song Kang Ho taking home the “Best Actor” award and with IU practically stealing the show on the red carpet.

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