Oscars: Korea Selects Disaster Epic ‘Concrete Utopia’ For Best International Film Race

Korea has selected the disaster thriller Concrete Utopia starring Lee Byung-hun and Park Seo-jun as its entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2024 Oscars.

Directed by Tae-hwa Eom, the pic follows a group of survivors who struggle for a new life in Seoul following a massive earthquake. The pic opened in Korea on August 9 and was the number-one movie at the Korean box office last weekend. The pic has grossed $16.8M through today. Concrete Utopia is also set to screen at the Toronto Film Festival, where stars Byung-hun and Seo-jun will hold an in-person Q&A.

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The Korean Film Council announced its choice today, saying Concrete Utopia was “selected unanimously by seven judges, considering that it would be able to appeal to North America without being unfamiliar with the trend of K-culture and K-movie.”

The council added: “We tried to select a film that is Korean yet aims for a global standard, strikes a good balance between artistry and popularity, and appeals without resistance to the Academy Awards, which are also called somewhat conservative. The selected film is the director’s second feature film, and actor Lee Byung-hun has an excellent reputation at home and abroad.”

The Korean Film Council selection committee included Bang Eun-jin (Chairman of the Jury), Kim Yun-mi, Kim Cho-hee, Kim Hyung-Seok, Kim Hyung-jun, Lee Kyung-min, and Lee Yun-Seok.

Korea won its first Oscar with Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite in 2020, making even further history by scooping Best Picture and Best Director. Last year’s pick was Park Chan-wook’s Cannes Competition title Decision To Leave.

Here’s the list of category submissions so far:

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