Korean Director Wins Golden Bear at Berlin International Film Festival

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Na Young-kil won the Golden Bear for best short film at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 14. This is the second time a Korean film has won the award in the last five years, following brothers Park Chan-wook and Chan-kyung’s 2011 fantasy-horror short, Night Fishing.

Na won the Golden Bear for his supernatural short Hosanna. The 25-minute film was his graduation project for the Korea National University of the Arts.

Hosanna tells the story of a young boy with a supernatural ability to resurrect people back from the dead. Although he uses his power to heal others, he is only met with scorn from the adults he saves as they return to an unending cycle of death and continue to live a violent existence.

“I wanted twist the idea of salvation,” Na told KoBiz in an interview. “Perhaps it’s a resistance towards Christianity and beliefs. For example, I was asking, why do we have to be saved? What is salvation for? I felt that the providence of god was violent.”

Born in Jinhae, South Korea as the son of a pastor, Na studied theology before quitting to attend film school.

Hosanna was the only Korean winner at Berlin’s film festival this year.  The short debuted at the Jeonju International Film Festival last year and was also screened at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival earlier this month.

Na is currently working on a short film about the vengeance of a father who lost his son. He also hopes to finish a feature film sometime this year.


Featured image via Berlin International Film Festival/Richard Hübner