Lee Chang-dong’s drama Burning has been selected by South Korea as its submission for the Foreign Language Oscar race this year. Burning made its debut at Cannes in May where it won the FIPRESCI. It’s also headed for Toronto, Fantastic Fest and the New York Film Festival.

The film, loosely based on Haruki Murakami’s short story Barn Burning, features Korean-American actor Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) in his first starring role in a local pic. It’s an examination of an alienated young man, Jongsu (Yoo Ah-In), a frustrated introvert whose already difficult life is complicated by the appearance of two people into his orbit: first, Haemi (newcomer Jeon Jong-seo), a spirited woman who offers romantic possibility, and then, Ben (Yeun), a wealthy and sophisticated young man she returns from a trip with. When Jongsu learns of Ben’s mysterious hobby and Haemi suddenly disappears, his confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale.

This is the third of Lee’s features to be the official Oscar entry from Korea after 2002’s Oasis and 2007’s Secret Sunshine. For a market with such a vibrant local industry, it’s surprising that Korea has never had an FL nomination, nor been shortlisted.

Well Go USA holds domestic distribution rights to Burning, and will release it theatrically in New York on October 26, and in Los Angeles on November 2, with a national rollout to follow. At home, the movie released in May and made $4.2M.

Below is the updated running list of submissions this year.

2019 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions

    • AustriaThe Waldheim Waltz – Ruth Beckermann
    • BelarusCrystal Swan – Darya Zhuk
    • BelgiumGirl – Lukas Dhont
    • Colombia– Birds of Passage, Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra
    • CroatiaThe Eighth Commissioner – Ivan Salaj
    • EcuadorA Son Of Man – Jamaicanoproblem and Pablo Agüero
    • EstoniaTake It Or Leave It – Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo
    • FinlandEuthanizer – Teemu Nikin
    • GeorgiaNamme – Zaza Khalvashi
    • GermanyNever Look Away – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
    • IsraelThe Cakemaker – Ofir Raul Grazier
    • JapanShoplifters – Hirokazu Kore-eda
    • KosovoThe Marriage – Blerta Zeqiri
    • LatviaTo Be Continued – Ivars Seleckis
    • LithuaniaWonderful Losers: A Different World – Arunas Matelis
    • LuxembourgGutland – Govinda Van Maele
    • NetherlandsThe Resistance Banker – Joram Lürsen
    • NorwayWhat Will People Say – Iram Haq
    • PalestineGhost Hunting – Raed Andoni
    • RomaniaI Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians – Radu Jude
    • SerbiaOffenders – Dejan Zecevic
    • SingaporeBuffalo Boys – Mike Wiluan
    • SlovakiaThe Interpreter – Martin Sulik
    • South KoreaBurning – Lee Chang-dong
    • SpainChampions – Javier Fesser
    • SwedenBorder – Ali Abbasi
    • SwitzerlandEldorado – Markus Imhoof
    • TurkeyThe Wild Pear Tree – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    • UkraineDonbass – Sergei Loznitsa
    • UK – I Am Not A Witch – Rungano Nyoni
    • VenezuelaThe Family – Gustavo Rondon Cordova