Korean filmaker Im Kwon-Taek and French producer Pierre Rissient to receive UNESCO's Fellini MedalParis - UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura will present the Organisation's Fellini Gold Medal to Korean film director Im Kwon-Taek and French producer Pierre Rissient at an evening event at UNESCO Headquarters on November 25.
The ceremony will be attended by the Republic of Korea's ambassador Jang Jai-ryong. A message from film star Clint Eastwood, a close friend of Rissient, will be read out by Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Im Kwon-Taek, who will receive the medal for his work as a whole, was born in 1936 in the Korean province of South Cholla. After first working as a repairer of soldiers' boots, he entered the world of cinema and made his first film, Farewell to the Duman River, in 1962. His international reputation grew in the 1980s with the help of Rissient, who showed his work at festivals. Today he is one of Korea's best-known filmmakers and was especially noticed at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival with Chunhyang, in which he blended Western film techniques with the traditional Korean Pansori opera.
Pierre Rissient, 66, is receiving the medal for his exceptional contribution to the growth of world cinema. As a producer, director, distributor, talent-spotter, selector of films for festivals, adviser to top directors and a programme planner, he has introduced the public to many major filmmakers from the United States, Europe and Asia. In the early 1970s, he was the first Westerner to present Asian films at Cannes. He is currently producing for Pathé the latest film by New Zealander Jane Campion, who he discovered through her short films and worked with on The Piano, which won her the Golden Palm prize at Cannes in 1993.
The evening will continue with a preview showing of Im Kwon-taek's 98th film, "Chihwaseon" (Drunk on Women and Painting), which will open in France on November 27. This feature film, which has already won the Best Director Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May, is based on the restless life of the gifted Korean painter Ohwon, who lived in the turbulent last years of the Chosun Dynasty until his death in 1897.
The evening will begin at 7.30 p.m. in Room I.
Journalists wishing to attend should contact
the UNESCO Press Service at +33 (0)1 4568-1747