February 18, 2022
SEOUL – Filmmaker Hong Sang-soo’s 27th feature “The Novelist’s Film” on Thursday won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlin International Film Festival.
The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival is being held from Feb. 10 to 20 as an in-person event.
“I really didn’t expect this big prize. I’m very surprised. Thank you all the jury members for your appreciation,” Hong said in an acceptance speech in English. “I feel like I should say something more but I don’t know what to say. I will just keep on doing what I’ve been doing.”
Hong’s Silver Bear-winning 92-minute movie is produce in black-and-white.
This is the third consecutive year that Hong has had a film invited to the film fest in Berlin.
Hong’s “The Woman Who Ran” received the Silver Bear for best director in 2020 and “Introduction” won the Silver Bear prize for best screenplay in 2021. Kim also won the best actress award at the Berlinale for appearing in Hong’s “On the Beach at Night Alone” in 2017.
The film begins with female novelist Jun-hee (Lee Hye-young) going on a long trip to a bookstore run by her friend with whom she has fallen out of touch. After arriving at the bookstore, she heads to a tower nearby on her own, where she runs into a film director and his wife. They take a walk in a park together and meet a famous actor (Kim Min-hee). The novelist tries to convince the actor to play a role in a film that she is considering creating. To take the conversation further, they all decide to get something to eat. After the meal, they revisit the bookstore to have a drink.
Hong called lead actor Kim Min-hee, whom he is in an extramarital relationship with, up to the stage during the award ceremony.
Kim also participated in the “The Novelist’s Film” as a production manager.
“During the screening today, I could feel that people love the film. I should have said thank you but could not. It was touching and unforgettable. Thank you,” Kim said in Korean.
Hong and Kim have been working together for seven years since their first work together, “Right Now, Wrong Then,” in 2015. They announced their relationship in 2017 and after that Kim continued to work with Hong in eight more films — “On the Beach at Night Alone,” “The Day After,” “Claire’s Camera,” “Grass,” “Hotel by the River,” “The Woman Who Ran,” “Introduction,” and most recently, “The Novelist’s Film.”
Along with Kim, the film also stars two veteran actors — Lee and Seo Young-hwa.
Meanwhile, the top Golden Bear for best film went to “Alcarras” directed by Carla Simon.
Simon’s film is about a family of peach farmers in a small village in Catalonia who faces eviction, following the death of their landowner.