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South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk passes away from COVID at 59

South-Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk died on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19 at the age of 59. Ki-Duk died from a COVID complication on December 11 morning.

The award-winning director had traveled to the Baltic country last month and intended to buy a house near the capital, Riga.

The Estonian Film Institute confirmed to Screen that Kim intended to shoot a new feature in the country titled Rain, Snow, Cloud And Fog. The story was to centre on a man and a woman whose love that crosses times and space, with four separate stories woven into one.

Born in South Korea, Kim studied fine art in Paris before returning to his home country to write and direct his feature debut, Crocodile, in 1996.

His international breakthrough came in 2000 with the thriller The Isle, which was selected for Toronto and played in competition at Venice.

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Kim would again compete at Venice in 2001 with drama Address Unknown and in 2004 with crime drama 3-Iron, which won four prizes including the Silver Lion for best director.

Also in 2004, Kim’s drama Samaritan Girl won the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlinale, having previously competed at the festival in 2002 with gangster drama Bad Guy.

One of his most highly-regarded features was Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring, in which a boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple. The film won four awards at Locarno, where it premiered in 2003, and the audience award at San Sebastian.

Kim would go on to have three films selected for Cannes: The Bow, which played in Un Certain Regard in 2005; Breath, which competed for the Palme d’Or in 2007; and Arirang, a documentary looking back on his own career that won the Un Certain Regard award in 2011.

The following year, in 2012, he won Venice’s coveted Golden Lion with crime drama Pieta and returned to the Lido in 2014 with thriller One On One, which won the best film in Venice Days.

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