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KOFIC selects 'The Man Standing Next' for 2021 Oscar submission

"The Man Standing Next" (Showbox)
The Korean Film Council announced Wednesday that “The Man Standing Next” by director Woo Min-ho was chosen out of the 13 films that applied for submission for the Oscar for best international feature film.

The 13 movie submissions included “Peninsula” by Yeon Sang-ho, “Deliver Us from Evil” by Hong Won-chan and “Beasts that Cling to the Straw” by Kim Yong-hoon, among others.

“We had a lot of discussion as to which movie made this year has the most representativeness,” said KOFIC on its announcement Wednesday. “After much discussion, we decided ‘The Man Standing Next’ and ‘Moving On’ had lots of merit and finally chose ‘The Man Standing Next.’ The movie is attractive in that it shows the relatively dark side of history of Korea, which achieved unparalleled economic growth and is now one of the leaders in the culture sector.”

“The Man Standing Next” is a spy movie about the 40 days leading up to the assassination of a Korean president. Based on the two years leading up to the assassination of President Park Chung-hee in Oct. 26, 1979 by the head of Korean Central Intelligence Agency Kim Jae-gyu, the movie recreates the intense political maneuvering and fighting around the president.

Lee Byung-hun, known internationally for his role in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” plays the role of Kim Kyu-pyung, the Head of KCIA who eventually kills the president, identified only as “President Park.” Veteran actor Lee Sung-min plays the role of the Korean president and Kwak Do-won appears as a former Head of KCIA.

After Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” won for best international feature as well as best picture, best director and best original screenplay at this year’s Oscars, interest in Korean films has skyrocketed, according to KOFIC.

“We hope that more Korean movies reach the international audience and hope ‘The Man Standing Next’ achieves good results,” said KOFIC.

The Academy is scheduled to hold the 93rd Oscars on April 25, 2021 with the nominations announced on March 15.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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