The 55th Berlin International Film Festival will this year honour the Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek, and the Spanish actor, director and screenwriter Fernando Fernán Gómez with Honorary Golden Bears for their lifetime achievements.
Im Kwon-Taek will be awarded the Honorary Golden Bear on February 12, 2005 at 9:30 PM in the Filmpalast. Following the award ceremony, Im Kwon-Taek’s impressive film Chunhyang dyeon (Chunhyang, 2000) will be screened in his honour. This year’s Showcase is also dedicated to the Korean director, who holds a special position among Asia’s great filmmakers.
Im Kwon-Taek began working in film in 1962 and is currently making his 100th production. Over the years, seven of Im Kwon-Taek’s films have been screened in different sections of the Berlinale. His oeuvre is as multi-faceted as influential. In depicting a cross-section of his country’s history and culture, Im Kwon-Taek often returns to the topic of Korea’s civil war and division. And although his films vary in style, they all bear his unmistakable stamp: they are forceful and charged cinematographically, as well as reticent, stylised and musical.
His splendid production Chunhyang dyeon (Chunhyang) is set in the 17th century and based on a popular Korean folktale. The film revolves around a young prince of noble descent, and the proud and cultivated daughter of a courtesan. The love between the two is sorely tested when the young woman is told to marry a provincial governor. With Chunhyang dyeon, Im Kwon-Taek has staged an exquisitely stylised opera of love: traditional Korean vocal music also enhances this cinematic tale.
Fernando Fernán Gómez will be awarded his Honorary Golden Bear on February14, 2005 at 9:30 PM in the Filmpalast. Following the award ceremony, Patricia Ferreira’s Para que no me olvides (Something to Remember Me By, 2005), in which Fernando Fernán Gómez plays the lead, will be screened in his honour. The film is the story of different generations, of grief and memories, as well as the difficulty of understanding one another.
Fernando Fernán Gómez was born in Peru in 1921 and spent his first years in Argentina. He moved with his family to Spain in 1924. As actor, director and screenwriter, Fernando Fernán Gómez has ranked among the most important personalities of Spanish cinema since the 1940s. He has performed in 200 films, directed 30 as well as written the screenplays for almost 30.
Among the most famous of his films as an actor, are Fernando Trueba’s Belle Epoque (1993), which ran in the Competition of the Berlinale in 1993 and won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in1994; as well as Pedro Almodovar’s Todo sobre mi madre (1999). Also screened in the Competition of the Berlinale were Juan Estelrich’s El Anacoreta (1977) and Jaime de Armiñán’s Stico (1985). For his performance in each of these films he won a Silver Bear.
In his impressive career, Fernando Fernán Gómez has received numerous other awards and prizes for his acting, and for his achievements as director and screenwriter.
Fernando Fernán Gómez has also made a name for himself as a playwright. For his piece “Las bicicletas son para el verano” he received the Lope de Vega prize in 1978. In 2000 he was the first filmmaker ever to become a member of the distinguished Academia de la Lengua.
February 1, 2005