Song Kang Ho becomes first Korean man to win Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival

  • Song Kang Ho won the Best Actor award at Cannes’ 75th film festival this weekend, becoming the first South Korean male actor to do so.

  • Song played an illegal baby broker and starred alongside K-pop singer IU (Lee Jieun) in her Cannes debut in the film “Broker,” the first Korean-language film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.

  • This is Song’s seventh time at the film festival, and he previously made history as the first Korean male to serve on the festival’s jury last year.

  • Additionally, South Korean director Park Chan Wook won his first Best Director award at the festival this year for “Decision to Leave.”

Song Kang Ho won the Best Actor award at the 75th Cannes film festival over the weekend for his role in “Broker,” making it his first Cannes win and making him the first South Korean male actor to take home the prize.

While it is his first Cannes win, Song is no stranger to the film festival, with this being his seventh attendance. He also became the first South Korean male actor to serve on the Cannes jury for last year’s festival. “Parasite,” in which Song starred as the lead, was the first Korean film to win Cannes’ most coveted honor, the Palme d’Or in 2019. 

“Broker” is the first Korean-language film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Song plays an illegal baby broker trying to find a home for an abandoned baby. The film also stars K-pop singer IU (Lee Jieun) in her Cannes debut. 

Song praised director Kore-eda’s work, telling reporters “I have seen almost all of Kore-eda’s films so far. Not just myself, but many Korean fans love his films for the distinctive aesthetics of Japanese movies.”

During his acceptance speech for the best actor award, Song began to give his thanks in French before finishing the rest in Korean “Merci beaucoup, I’m very, very grateful and honored. I express my deepest gratitude to the great artist Hirokazu Kore-eda.” 

He went on to thank his co-stars Gang, Lee Ji-eun, Lee Joo-young, Bae Doo-na and the film’s production and distribution companies Cinema Zip’s CEO Lee Eugene and CJ ENM.

“My loving family came [to the festival] with me too. I’m so happy because I believe this is a great, big present [for me and my family] and I dedicate this trophy to eternal love. I [also] dedicate this glory to countless cinephiles, thank you.”

Additionally, Korean filmmaker Park Chan Wook took his first Best Director win at the festival this year for “Decision to Leave,” a mystery romance film about a detective falling for a widow in the murder case he is investigating. Two of his past films have won prizes at Cannes: “Thirst” won the Jury Prize in 2009 and “Oldboy” won the Grand Prix in 2003.


Feature Image via Getty (left), EonTalk Media (right)

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