Lee Chang-dong directed mystery drama 'Burning,' starring Yoo Ah-in, has been selected as Korea's foreign-language entry to the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. Based on the short story 'Barn Burning' by Haruki Murakami, it premiered on May 16 at the Cannes Film Festival.
As noted by website Soompi, the Korean Film Commission revealed on September 8, "After the judges held heated discussions and mediated differences, they selected 'Burning' as the final entry among 10 films."
Praising director Lee Chang-dong's prior artistic achievements in cinema, the judges said they felt that 'Burning' is a feature that can appropriately represent the current state of Korean cinema. Lee Chang-dong is well known across the world for his films, 'Peppermint Candy,' 'Oasis,' 'Secret Sunshine' and 'Poetry.'
The judges also said, "We saw that the maturity in aesthetic and ethical views analyzed Korean society in a way that had not been seen before. We thought it had the potential to connect with the universal intelligence of the world's citizens."
As website Variety has pointed out, this is the third time that a film by Lee Chang-dong has been selected by South Korea as its Oscars contender. 'Oasis' was selected in 2002, followed by 'Secret Sunshine' in 2007. Even though the country has been sending films for Academy Awards considerations since 2000, none have been shortlisted or nominated till date.
'Burning' is a mystery drama surrounding three lives that intersect with each other and the surreal turn of events that happen as a consequence of it. The movie also stars Jeon Jong-seo and Steven Yeun in the principal cast.
At Cannes, film critics awarded 'Burning' the FIPRESCI Prize. For its art direction, it received the Vulcain technical prize. On May 17, it had its Korean premiere. The US release is set for October 26 in New York and Los Angeles on November 2, followed by a wider national rollout on November 9.
Earlier on April 5, Yoo Ah-in's close friend and actor Song He-kyo showed his support for 'Burning' by sharing Yoo Ah-in's character poster for the movie.
Song Hye-kyo also shared a teaser for the movie on the same date, expressing excitement for her friend's work. Watch the trailer below.