Korean Director Hong Sang-soo Takes Home Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlin International Film Festival

SEOUL, South Korea – Korean director Hong Sang-soo emerged victorious at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany, as his latest film “A Traveler’s Needs” was awarded the prestigious Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. The acclaimed director, known for his prolific filmography, secured the festival’s second highest honor with his 31st feature film, which stars acclaimed French actress Isabelle Huppert as a French language teacher for two Korean women.

In his acceptance speech, Hong humorously expressed his gratitude to the jury, saying, “I’d like to thank the jury. I don’t know what you saw in the film. I am curious. Anyway, I really thank you.” The director’s playful remark drew laughter from the audience, highlighting the warm reception his film received at the festival.

While Hong’s “A Traveler’s Needs” captured the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, the festival’s top prize, the Golden Bear, was awarded to “Dahomey,” a documentary film by French-Senegalese director Mati Diop. Hong, however, continued to add to his impressive collection of accolades, as this marked his fifth Silver Bear prize from the festival. His previous wins include the 2017 film “On the Beach at Night Alone,” which also starred Kim Min-hee, who received the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

Notably, “A Traveler’s Needs” is the third collaboration between Hong and Isabelle Huppert. The two previously worked together on the films “In Another Country” in 2012 and “Claire’s Camera” in 2018. This successful partnership underscores the director’s admiration for Huppert’s talent and their ability to create compelling cinematic experiences.

Hong Sang-soo’s Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize win for “A Traveler’s Needs” further solidifies his status as a renowned filmmaker in the international stage. The director’s unique storytelling style and compelling narratives have captivated audiences and critics alike, earning him numerous accolades throughout his career. With this latest recognition at the Berlin International Film Festival, Hong’s contribution to the world of cinema continues to be celebrated.