'Journals of Musan' Wins Jury Prize at Tokyo FILMeX

The North Korean defector film picks up more prizes in Brazil and Canada.

SEOUL -- The award-winning South Korean film The Journals of Musan added more trophies to its haul with a prize in Japan.

Park Jung-bum’s film about a North Korean defector’s struggle to assimilate to life in Seoul won the special prize Wednesday at the 12th Tokyo FILMeX. The Journals of Musan vied for awards in the  event’s competition section against other Korean titles, including Juhn Jai-hong’s Poongsan, another film about Korea’s North-South divide, and the action drama Countdown, starring Cannes best actress-winning thesp Jeon Do-yeon. The local film Arirang by Kim Ki-duk opened the festival.

The Journals of Musan also won the best new director award at the 15th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival in Canada on Nov. 13, and the grand prize at Brazil’s 4th Paraty International Film Festival on Nov. 15. It has so far received 16 honors to its credit since premiering with two awards at 2010’s Busan International Film Festival.

The film, which stars director Park in the lead role, drew over 11,000 in admissions in Korean theaters, which is a highly successful box office score for a local independent film.