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WEEKENDS Picks Up 3rd Panorama Prize in Berlin
Feb 22, 2016
- Writerby Pierce Conran
Documentary Follows Experiences of Korea’s 1st Gay Chorus
One of three Korean films that screened at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, LEE Dong-ha’s debut documentary WEEKENDS triumphed by festival’s end, as it left Berlin with the 3rd place Panorama Audience Award Panorama Dokumente 2016. The top prize was won by Tomer & Barak Heymann’s Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?, a British-Israeli co-production, while second place went to the Netherlands-Belgium non-fiction work Strike a Pose from directors Reijer Zwaan and Ester Gold.
2016 marks the fourth year on the trot that a Korean film has picked up a prize in Berlin, following the Golden Bear for Best Short last year (NA Young-kil’s Hosanna), the Crystal Bear for Best Short in Generation (YOON Ga-eun’s Sprout) and NETPAC Prizes (Kelvin Kyung Kun PARK’s A Dream of Iron and JUNG Yoon-suk’s Non Fiction Diary) in 2014 and the Special Mention from Generation 14plus (SHIN Su-won’s PLUTO) and Special Prize from Generation Kplus (KIM Jung-in’s Cheong) in 2013.
In WEEKENDS, director LEE tells the story of G-Voice, Korea’s first gay chorus. Combining behind the scenes footage of the various frictions within the group and the homophobia which they experience on the eve of a special 10th anniversary concert, along with glossy music videos of the band in action, the film acts as a commentary on the current state of gay rights in Korea. Born in Busan, director LEE studied cultural sciences in Seoul before embarking on a career as a television drama director.