Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Moon Byoung-gon: A new found talent

Moon Byoung-gon won the Short Film Palme d’Or at Cannes International Film Festival for his film Safe. The first Korean to win the honour. He was quite surprised at the award as he didn't even know he could win a prize. Safe is a grim portrait of a man addicted to gambling and a female college student who steals money from her work place.

Moon studied film at Chung-Ang University in Seoul graduating in 2011 and has directed two shorts ― No More Coffee Break (2008) and Finis Operis (2011). The fantasy short Finis Operis, a portrait of an aging man living a secluded life, was featured at Cannes in its International Critics’ Section in 2011. Through the not-so-short school period he experienced many aspects of the film industry, Finis Operis was his graduation film and he got to be the first Korean student to be invited to La Semaine de la Critique du Festival de Cannes. Liking to show the irony of life through stories, he is now developing in feature film.

Moon Byoung-gon (30) said he would like to make a film that contains a meaningful message. On why he won the Cannes award, Moon said, “The message of the film was good. The story was dramatic and opened up fast. I thought the story of the main character as things spiral out of control was interesting.”

On why he made the movie, Moon said, “I wanted to make a film that has an intro, body, and ending and has clear conflicts and conclusion so that people could recognize my strength and weakness.” Moon said, “After winning the Palme D'or, I feel so much pressure. But things already happened and I will put my utmost effort into my next film. I will do my best without worrying about the result.”

Speaking of his goal, Moon said he would like to make “a spectacle movie that has a scale and style similar to the film Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn.”

“Winning the Palme D'or at Cannes is not only good news and an honor for director Moon but for all of us and the Korean film industry,” said Ahn Sung-ki, president of the Shin Young Kyun Arts and Culture Foundation. “I hope that there will be more directors like Moon in the future.”

By Michael Collins
Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter @dustforeyes

We are delighted to welcome director Moon Byoung-gon to the 4th Korean Film Festival in Australia. You can meet him at KOFFIA in Sydney and watch his films in the K-Shorts Showcase! Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to meet a new found talent on the Korean cinema scene! 

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