Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho to head jury at 78th Venice International Film Festival

Published January 18, 2021, 7:41 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Director Bong Joon-ho (left) with Korean actress and ‘Parasite’ star Park So-dam at the 11th Annual Governors Awards held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Oct. 27, 2019. (Instagram) 

Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, who won best director for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards, will head the jury of the competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival to be held from Sept. 1-11. 

The board of directors of the La Biennale di Venezia appointed the 51-year-old director as president of the international jury upon the recommendation of festival director Alberto Barbera.

“The Venice International Film Festival carries with it a long and varied history, and I’m honored to be woven into its beautiful cinematic tradition. As president of the jury – and more importantly as a perpetual cinephile – I’m ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. I’m filled with genuine hope and excitement,” said Bong Joon-ho. 

At the 92nd Academy Awards held on Feb. 9, 2020 in Los Angeles, “Parasite” won the most awards with four: best picture, best director, best international feature film and best original screenplay. 

Barbera said this is the first in the Venice film festival’s history that the jury will be headed by a Korean filmmaker. 

“Today, this great Korean director is one of the most authentic and original voices in worldwide cinema. The decision to entrust the Jury to a Korean filmmaker, for the first time in the festival’s history, is also confirmation that the Venetian event embraces the cinema of the entire world, and that directors from every country know they can consider Venice their second home,” he said. 

The international jury will award the following prizes on the last night of the festival on Sept. 11: Golden Lion for Best Film, Silver Lion-Grand Jury Prize, Silver Lion-Award for Best Director, Coppa Volpi for Best Actor, Coppa Volpi for Best Actress, Award for Best Screenplay, Special Jury Prize and the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress. 

Bong Joon-ho’s first feature film as director was “Barking Dogs Never Bite” released in 2000. His second, “Memories of Murder,” in 2003 won best film at the Grand Bell Awards and Korean Film Awards.