Asian talent shine at Golden Globes with Bong Joon Ho, Awkwafina winning top awards

Bong Joon Ho and Awkwafina Golden GlobesBong Joon Ho and Awkwafina Golden Globes Bong Joon Ho and Awkwafina created history at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards by becoming the first winners of Asian descent in their respective categories. (Photos: AP)

Celebrated South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s genre-bending thriller Parasite and actor-singer Awkwafina created history at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards by becoming the first winners of Asian descent in their respective categories.

Joon Ho’s Parasite became the first South Korean movie to win the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film, while Awkwafina, who is Chinese-South Korean-American, won the Golden Globe for lead actress in a movie – musical or comedy for her role in The Farewell.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang, the film marked the lead debut for Awkwafina and revolves around Billi, an American woman whose family has chosen to keep the truth of a terminal diagnosis from her grandmother in China.

In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina said Wang gave her “the chance of a lifetime” and “taught me so much”.

She is only the sixth woman of Asian origin to receive a nomination in the category. Last year her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu was nominated for the same award for her performance in the film, but Olivia Colman took home the trophy for The Favourite.

Joon Ho utilised his win to ask people to overcome the barrier of subtitles and be more open to world cinema.

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. Just being nominated along with fellow, amazing international filmmakers was a huge honour. I think we use only one language: the cinema,” he said.

Other nominees in the category included Lulu Wang’s The Farewell (US), Ladj Ly’s Les Miserables (France), Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory (Spain) and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France).

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Parasite was also nominated best director, foreign-language film and screenplay categories. Thee film, however, did not qualify for the best picture award, since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) stipulates contenders feature “more than 50 percent English dialogue” in the film and Parasite is completely in Korean.

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