Director/actor Yang Ik-june, left, and Kim Kkobbi in a scene from "Breathless.'' / Courtesy of Jin Jin Pictures
By Lee Hyo-won
``Breathless'' by director Yang Ik-june won top awards at the 10th Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival in Spain and the 10th Deauville Asian Film Festival in France, Jin Jin Pictures announced Monday.
The South Korean indie film is championing the international film circuit, having recently won the grand prize at the 38th Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands. It is also competing at the Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland, which continues through March 21.
Yang, who directed and starred in the film, won the award for Best Actor at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria while his co-star Kim Kkobbi was named Best Actress at. Yang plays the role of a dejected man who rediscovers hope through a teenage girl (Kim).
This is the second consecutive year that Deauville's two coveted prizes, the grand prize (Le Lotus du meilleur film) and the international critic's award, went to a Korean movie, following Jeon Soo-il's ``With a Girl of Black Soil.''
Numerous other local works appeared at the French festival. Baek Seung-bin's ``Members of the Funeral'' competed in the competition section alongside ``Breathless''; Na Hong-jin's hit thriller ``The Chaser'' and Kim Yoon-jin's big budget epic ``The Divine Weapon'' were shown in Action Asia; and Yoo Ha's controversial ``A Frozen Flower'' and Yoon Jong-bin's noir drama ``Beastie Boys'' were screened in the Panorama section.
The film festival also paid special tribute to Korean directors Lee Chang-dong and Lee Yoon-ki with a retrospective of their respective works, including ``Secret Sunshine'' and ``This Charming Girl.''
``Breathless'' is also being shown at the Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 22-April 13) and a Korean film festival in Florence, Italy this month. It will be released in theaters here April 16. Distributed by Jin Jin Pictures.