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South Korean director Bong Joon Ho will be decorated with a medal by the French government, the French embassy in Seoul announced on Wednesday.
Bong will be made an Officer (Officier) in the Order of Arts and Letters, for his contributions to the arts. The 47-year-old will receive the medal on Nov. 10 in Seoul, during the opening ceremony for a local French cinema showcase hosted by French luxury brand S.T. Dupont.
Bong, whom Quentin Tarantino praised as being like “Spielberg in his prime,” is best known for directing the dystopian sci-fi film Snowpiercer, which is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. Snowpiercer opened at No. 5 in the French box office when it was theatrically released there in 2013, becoming the most widely released and highest grossing Korean film in France at the time.
Bong has directed other internationally well-received films such as The Host and Mother, which were both invited to Cannes. He is currently working on Okja, a fantasy film about a young girl’s friendship with a mysterious creature. The film, starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Steven Yeun, is financed by Netflix and is slated for a 2017 release.
Tim Burton, Elton John, Sharon Stone and Korean veteran actress Yun Jung-hee have previously been named an officer, which ranks second among the three grades in the Order of Arts and Letters (Commander, Officer and Knight). Busan International Film Festival founder/chairman Kim Dong-ho, director Hong Sang-soo and actress Jeon Do-yeon are among Korean film icons to be honored by the French government.
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