Asia Bureau Chief
HONG KONG — South Korea has selected “Sea Fog” (aka ‘Haemoo’) as its contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards race.
The film, directed by Shim Sung-bo, is a largely sea-borne tale of human desperation both on the part of economic refugees and the fishermen turned human smugglers who transport them across unsafe waters.
The selection is made by a specially convened committee organized by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).
Production was by Lewis Kim with leading director Bong Joon-ho (“Snowpiercer”) as executive producer. International sales are by Finecut.
South Korea has had a huge impact on film-making in Asia in the past two decades, but no Korean film has ever been selected as an Oscar nominee.
Related: San Sebastian Talent: Shim Sung-bo’s debut, “Haemoo,” plays to upbeat reception at San Sebastián – Variety
[NEWS] ‘Sea Fog’ to represent Korea at Academy Awards
Korea has selected the film “Sea Fog” to represent the country at the upcoming Academy Awards in the category of best foreign-language film.
The announcement was made on Friday by a special selection committee organized by the Korean Film Council.
“Out of 10 competitive films, ‘Sea Fog’ was selected because the film had already received high acclaim at the recent Toronto Film Festival’s gala presentation. Also, as the film is based on a real-life event, it will be of great interest to the members of the Academy Awards,” said the committee.
The film, directed by Shim Sung-bo, centers on a little-known tragedy that occurred in 2001, when crew members of Korean fishing ship the Taechangho allegedly threw the bodies of 25 Chinese stowaways overboard after they suffocated to death while hiding in the vessel’s the fish storage compartment.
Veteran actor Kim Yoon-shik and singer-turned-actor Park Yoo-chun star as the captain and a crew member of the ship, respectively. “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho served as an executive producer of the film.
Korea has submitted more than 20 films for consideration for the Oscars’ foreign-language film category since 1962, but has yet to receive a nomination. The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015 and the awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 22, 2015.