Four Korean films were shown at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, which ran from May 17 to 28. The films were Park Chan-wook’s romantic mystery Decision to Leave, director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker, Lee Jung-jae’s directorial debut Hunt and Jung July’s drama, Next Sohee. Two of those films won top honors.
Broker, starring Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, singer-actress IU (Lee Ji-eun) and actress Lee Joo-young, received a 12-minute standing ovation at its festival screening and won the won the Ecumenical Jury Award for best film. Broker follows the characters played by Song, Gang and IU as they attempt to sell a baby left in a designated adoption box. In the process they somehow become a family.
It’s not the first Cannes win for Kore-eda, who directed Shoplifters, the film that won the Palme d’Or in 2018. Kore-eda also won the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his film Lake Father, Like Son. It is his first time directing a Korean film.
Song Kang-ho’s role in Broker won him the Cannes award for Best Actor. He thanked Kore-eda in his acceptance speech, as well as his co-stars. Song is the winner of multiple awards for films such as Parasite, The Attorney, Taxi Driver and Age of Shadows.
Park Chan-wook took home the Cannes award for Best Director. Upon receiving the award he thanked his stars and Mikey Lee, the vice-chairman of CJ Group. Park previously won the Cannes Jury prize for his film Thirst in 2009, a Grand Prix for Oldboy in 2004 and a nomination for The Handmaiden in 2016. The director of The Vengeance Trilogy recently turned to television to direct the mini series The Little Drummer Girl.
Decision to Leave stars Park Hae-il as a detective investigating a complex murder case. He falls for the widow of the deceased, played by Tang Wei. A few festival critics described the neo-noir story as Park Chang-wook’s best film since his 2003 film Oldboy. Decision to Leave also stars Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-pyo and Park Young-woo.
Lee Jung-jae’s film Hunt, a story about two competitive Korean spies, premiered in Cannes’ Midnight Screening, also receiving a standing ovation. The film stars Lee, Jung Woo-sung, Kim Nam-gil and Ju Ji-hoon.
Decision to Leave was sold to 192 countries and territories, including France, North America, Turkey, India, the United Kingdom and Japan, with tentative plans for a fall theater release. Before its Cannes premiere Broker was sold to 171 countries. Neon acquired the rights to US distribution.