Oscars: South Korea Selects 'Burning' for Foreign-Language Category

Lee Chang-dong’s drama, adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story, won the critics' prize in Cannes and will screen at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

South Korea has picked Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, a critical favorite in Cannes this year, to represent the country in the race for best foreign-language film at the 2019 Oscars.

Burning premiered in competition in Cannes, where it picked up the international film critics' FIPRESCI prize as well as the Vulcain technical award for its art direction. The film is an adaptation of the short story Barn Burning from acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, originally published in The New Yorker.

Lee's version is a romantic thriller in which two men compete for the affections of a charismatic young woman.

WellGo USA picked up domestic rights to Burning and is planing a U.S. release this November, following the film's North American premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Finecut is handling international sales on the title.

This is the third time that a film by Lee has been selected by South Korea for the Oscar race, following Secret Sunshine in 2007 and Oasis in 2002. To date no Korean film has ever been shortlisted or nominated for a foreign-language Oscar.