Director-actor Yang Ik-june in a scene from "Breathless"
By Lee Hyo-won
Multiple award-winning film ``Breathless’’ picked up yet another honor at the New York Asian Film Festival, Jin Jin Pictures announced Thursday. Director-actor-producer Yang Ik-june won the jury award for Best Debut Feature ― the film’s 13th award from 10 international film events.
``One of the festival’s real finds is the South Korean film `Breathless,’ a closely observed drama written, produced and co-directed by its star, the vividly talented Yang Ik-june,’’ said The New York Times about the New York Asian Film Festival in its June 18 edition.
Breathless, based on a semi-autobiographical script by Yang, is about a victim of domestic violence who grows up to become an aggressive brute. But light shines brightest in darkness, and he rediscovers hope when he meets a high school girl (Kim Kkobbi) who is even more hardball than he is.
The small indie flick reaped much-coveted titles including grand prizes and awards for best actor/actress in major European festivals including the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Rotterdam, Fribourg and Deauville Asian film festivals. It was also spotlighted at the Singapore and Taipei events.
The film, released here in April, attracted an impressive 130,000 moviegoers, according to Jin Jin Pictures. Breathless was sold to France’s Tadart Film, headed by director Bruno Dumont, and also awaits its Japan release early next year through Bitter Ends, which will distribute the movie along with Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed thriller ``Mother.’’
``You need to forget about (the fame and honor) in order to return to a normal life,'' Yang told The Korea Times in a previous interview. ``A movie happens to get made when you're just living life,’’ said the 33-year-old, who is currently attending Paris Cinema, which comes to a close July 14. He will continue touring the festival circuit, including Fantasia in Montreal, the London Korean Film Festival, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Tokyo FILMeX, among others.