Kim Kee-duk Back in Director’s Chair

The legendary helmer received a special award from Hermes Korea Friday night.

BUSAN, South Korea -- Kim Kee-duk, the 1960s cineaste who is not to be confused with the younger film maverick Kim Ki-duk (Arirang), was honored with a special award from Hermes Korea, Friday.

Kim appeared thoroughly moved as he received the Hermes Director’s Chair, a handsome piece of luxurious leather furniture monogrammed with his name.

“I thought I was forgotten as a director but I am grateful to be remembered and given a retrospective,” he said as he eased into his chair. “Sitting in a director’s chair takes me 30 years back and all those memories on the set are rushing in.”

The local branch of the French fashion powerhouse has been annually sponsoring the Busan International Film Festival’s Korean Cinema Retrospective section, and this year’s showcase features Kim’s hit films from the 1960s and ’70s.

“It is impossible to explain the glorious achievements of the Korean film industry in the 1960s without mentioning director Kim Kee-duk,” said festival director Lee Yong-kwan.

Kim debuted with Five Marines in 1961 and has since produced over 60 works during the period which is considered the Golden Period in Korean cinema history. After retiring in 1977, he went on to become a respected educator and member of the Korea Media Rating Board.

Sandrine Dumas, French actress and member of the Hermes family; director Im Kwon-taek; and actors including Ahn Sung-ki, Kang Soo-yeon and Park Sang-won were spotted at the ceremony.