Parasite: First South Korean Film to be Nominated for Best Picture and Best International Feature

Parasite became the first South Korean movie to be nominated for best picture and best international film.


Academy Awards voters have largely ignored the movies made in South Korea, despite the rich crop of features, which, year after year, play at major film festivals, like Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Toronto.

In 2018, there was a great deal of optimism that Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” an acclaimed thriller, would become the first film from the country to earn a best international film nod. It was the first South Korean film shortlisted for the honor. However, when nominations were announced, it was not on the ballot.

Bong Joon Ho also earned a nomination for best director, in addition to original screenplay with Jin Won Han.

Parasite also got a film editing nod for Jinmo Yang and a production design nod for Lee Ha Jun and Cho Won Woo.

World premiering at the 2019 Cannes Film Fest (in May). Parasite won the fest’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.

The story of a family of small-time con artists and grifters who become entangled with a wealthy businessman, his wife and their children was praised as a twisty thriller that had incisive things to say about income inequality. It went on to become the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest honor.