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Indie film ‘Jeong-sun’ wins grand jury, best actress prizes at Rome Film Festival

Oct. 24, 2022 - 15:52 By Hwang Dong-hee
Actress Kim Kum-soon (second left) and director Jeong Ji-hye (third left) pose for photos during the 17th Rome International Film Festival, ahead of the film "Jeong-sun"'s first screening at the festival, on Oct. 17. (Rome Film Festival's official Instagram)

Korean independent film “Jeong-sun” is bringing home two awards from the 17th Rome International Film Festival held on Saturday.

Director Jeong Ji-hye won the Grand Jury Prize for her first full-length film, which is centered on a digital sex crime, while actress Kim Kum-soon won the best actress award.

The ceremony was held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, where the international film festival took place from Oct. 13 to Oct. 23. Kim and Jeong delivered their acceptance speeches online.

“I think many have sympathized and suffered together with the story of Jeong-sun,” said Jeong in her acceptance speech.

“I learned that similar problems are occurring not only in Korea but around the world. I don’t think anyone has the right to look at and ridicule the private life of an individual. I support the many Jeong-suns in our society who are fighting against digital sex crimes,” said Jeong.

Scene from “Jeong-sun” (Cine Maru)

The film revolves around a middle-aged single mom named Jeong-sun, who works at a local food factory. She becomes intimate with a colleague at the factory but her life is turned upside down when a private video filmed by her boyfriend is leaked. The film shows her struggle to keep her identity, fighting against prejudice and contempt.

The film was the only Korean film among the 16 films invited to the official competition section at the festival. The film won the Grand Prize in the Korean Competition section at the 23rd Jeonju International Film Festival, held earlier this year.

The film was also nominated for the New Directors Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and for the First Feature Competition at the BFI London Film Festival.

Director Jeong Ji-hye on the set of “Jeong-sun” (Cine Maru)

“At first, when I was filming for the role of Jeong-sun, I only thought about ‘Korean Jeong-sun.’ But after the film's nominations at San Sebastian and Rome, I felt that this was a story for everyone,” said Kim speaking to The Korea Herald on Monday.

“I am honored to have our film screened and win awards at international festivals. I hope Jeong-sun’s message of ‘live strong’ is shared with the world.”

The veteran actress in the indie film scene also won actor of the year at this year’s Busan International Film Festival for her role in the film “Star of Ulsan.”