Reigning International Oscar Champion South Korea Picks ‘The Man Standing Next’ For 2021 Race

'The Man Standing Next'
'The Man Standing Next' Showbox

South Korea, which saw its 2020 International Oscar submission Parasite not only win that prize but also take an unexpected Best Picture triumph, has selected its entry for next year’s race.

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has put forward The Man Standing Next, Woo Min-ho’s historical political thriller which has been a local hit, grossing $36.4M after being released locally pre-pandemic back in January. The movie is set in 1970s Korea, when the country was under the absolute control of controversial President Park Chung-hee, and chronicles the events leading up to his assassination at the hand of one of his aides in 1979.

The 2021 Oscars are taking place on the later date of April 25 due to the pandemic disruption. Other countries to have submitted to-date include the Czech Republic and Poland, while regular contenders including Germany, Denmark and France will make their decision in the coming weeks.

Parasite was Korea’s first Oscar win from its first ever nomination. At the 92nd Academy Awards, the film made history by becoming the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture prize, also scooping Best Director and Best Screenplay for Bong Joon-ho.

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