South Korean Filmmaker Retires Following Sexual Assault Conviction

Courtesy of Indieplug
'Our Love Story' (2016)

The victim unveiled the wrongdoing of Lee Hyun-ju, the award-winning helmer of 'Our Love Story,' as the local film community embraces #MeToo.

South Korean filmmaker Lee Hyun-ju announced that she is retiring from the industry in the wake of being convicted of sexual assault.

"I admit and regret that my actions have caused great pain," Lee said in a statement released Thursday. "I take responsibility for this incident and will no longer work in the film business."

In December, the director of 2016's multiple award-winning lesbian drama Our Love Story was found guilty of sexually assaulting a fellow alumna of the Korean Academy of Film Arts back in 2015. She was given a two-year suspended sentence and is currently on probation.

The case became known when the victim and her fiancee shared details about the incident on social media, and has since received wide media attention as South Korea largely embraces the #MeToo campaign across all sectors. As the sexual assault case became increasingly controversial, Lee came forth on Tuesday with a statement, voluntarily revealing her identity and coming out about her homosexual orientation to claim that the sex was "consensual."

The Directors Guild of Korea has since ousted the 37-year-old, while Women in Film Korea, the local women filmmakers' group, has rescinded the director's award it handed to Lee for Our Love Story. Since premiering and winning the top honor at the 2016 Jeonju International Film Festival, Our Love Story had swept prizes including the 2017 Blue Dragon Awards, South Korea's equivalent of the Oscars.