Posted by Larry Gleeson

SBIFF35 Poster

SANTA BARBARA, CA (JANUARY 21, 2020) – Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG is thrilled to present auteur filmmaker Bong Joon Ho with the prestigious Outstanding Director of the Year Award on Thursday, January 23 for his six-time Oscar nominated film PARASITE. After making history at the SAG Awards for the first foreign language film to win Best Ensemble, SBIFF will be honoring Director Bong with a day long career retrospective, culminating in an evening tribute. He will be only the fourth recipient to receive this solo honor in the festival’s history. The event will take place at the Arlington Theatre.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling (Photo by Larry Gleeson)

“As an international film festival, director Bong and his film PARASITE transcend every category and genre globally. Funny, poignant, and thrilling, the film has been embraced around the world and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is ecstatic to continue to shine the light on one of the best filmmakers there is and his remarkable oeuvre,” states Executive Director Roger Durling.

SBIFF will be screening MEMORIES OF MURDER, THE HOST, MOTHER and PARASITE leading up the Outstanding Director of the Year tribute.
Parasite is the seventh feature film from the acclaimed Bong Joon Ho, following on from Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006), Mother (2009), Snowpiercer (2013), and Okja (2017). The modern-day classic Memories of Murder delves into the investigation behind a well-known serial murder case that was never solved, depicting the authoritarian era of the time with satire and sharp insight. The Host takes as its basis the abduction of a young girl by a strange creature that crawls out of the Han River, turning the monster movie genre on its head while also issuing stinging social commentary. And finally, Mother, the story of a woman trying to protect her son from a murder charge, is a dark portrait of motherly love taken to the extreme.

Known for his cutting, socially incisive wit and twisting of genre conventions, Bong Joon Ho has continually raised questions about social institutions and societal inequalities with his unique blend of humor, emotion and suspense. In this sense, Parasite is both highly characteristic of Bong Joon Ho’s work, while at the same time evolving to a new level.

Making history as the first South Korean film to win the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and to be nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Production Design, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite lit a fire among audiences and critics alike. Over 250 critics have anointed this masterwork as one of the best films of the year. More than 75 of those have ranked it #1 in their annual “top 10 lists.” Parasite won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the SAG Award for Best Ensemble. Bong has earned nominations from DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film; WGA for Best Original Screenplay; PGA for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures; and BAFTA for Best Film, Film Not in the English Language, Director, and Original Screenplay.

The Outstanding Director of the Year Award has previously been presented to Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), Kathryn Bigelow (HURT LOCKER), David Fincher (BENJAMIN BUTTON) and David O ‘Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE).

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 34 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 95,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community throughout many free educational programs and events. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.


(Source: Press release provided by


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