In a first for South Korea, master-director Bong Joon Ho earned the Academy Award for best original screenplay for his genre-defying Parasite, while filmmaker Taika Waititi bagged the Oscar in the adapted screenplay category.
A visibly happy Bong went up to the stage and initially managed to say “Thank you, great honour,” as the audience cheered and clapped on.
The 50-year-old director, who has been the toast of this awards season, surpassing the hurdle of subtitles that come along a non-English film, said writing scripts was a “lonely” process.
“Writing scripts is always such a lonely process. We never write to represent our countries. This is the very first Oscar to South Korea. I thank my wife for always being an inspiration, thank all the actors who are here with me today for bringing this film to life,” Bong said in his acceptance speech through his translator Sharon Choi.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 10, 2020
As co-writer Han Jin-won thanked his parents for their support and storytellers at Chumro, Bong couldn’t help staring lovingly at the Oscar trophy and smiling.
The Academy also recognised the New Zealand-based director Waititi of the satirical anti-war film Jojo Rabbit for the best adapted screenplay. Waititi became the first indigenous person to ever win the Oscar for this title.
An overwhelmed Waititi thanked his mother for introducing him to Christine Leunens’ book Caging Skies, which served as the basis for Jojo Rabbit.
“Amazing, thank you. I like to thank my mother for being my mother and for giving me the book that I adapted. This wouldn’t have existed without you doing that. Thank you to the producers of the film… There are many people I want to thank but won’t because I can’t remember them.
“This is really great and I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance. We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well,” the 44-year-old filmmaker said.
Both Parasite and Jojo Rabbit had also won the BAFTA award for the best original and adapted screenplay respectively.