'Han Gong-ju' wins Golden Star at Marrakech film festival

'Han Gong-ju' wins Golden Star at Marrakech film festival
South Korean film director Lee Su-Jin poses while holding the Golden Star award for his psychological drama film "Han Gong-ju" during the closing ceremony of the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 7, 2013 in Marrakech.

Young Korean director Lee Su-jin has won the Golden Star at this year's International Film Festival of Marrakech for his latest film "Han Gong-ju."

"Han Gong-ju" tells the tale of a traumatized teenage girl, a victim of a horrible crime, who is forced to change schools and chooses to leave her family to live with her teacher's mother.

"My main goal with this film was to give courage to all the Han Gong-jus in the world who find themselves in the same situation," said Lee in his acceptance speech at the closing ceremony on Saturday.

The film had its international premiere at the Marrakech film festival in Morocco, which ran from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7. The jury for the full-length films was chaired by American director Martin Scorsese and included director Faith Akin, US actress Patricia Clarkson and Korean director Park Chan-wook.

Fifteen films were vying for the Golden Star, the festival's top award.

Other award winners of this year's film festival include American film "Blue Ruin" and Cuban film "La Piscina (The Swimming Pool)," which were both awarded with the Prize of the Jury award.

The best actress award was given to Alicia Vikander, who played the role of a woman who gives birth to a mentally-challenged child and falls into a depressive state in the Swedish film "Hotel" while the best actor award was shared by Algerian actor Slimane Dazi and the young French actor Didier Michon, who played father and son in the film "Fevers" by Moroccan-French director Hicham Ayouch. "Fevers" tells the struggles of a man who is forced to take care of his delinquent son.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)

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