South Korean documentary Arirang wins BIFFDOCS

11 November, 2011 by Andre Fenby

Renowned South Korean arthouse filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has won BIFFDOCS, Australia’s richest documentary award.

Ki-duk’s entry Arirang beat 19 films from around the world to win the top prize of $25 000, including Queensland-produced documentary, The Trouble With St Mary’s, which received a $35 000 documentary production investment from Screen Queensland in 2009-10.


Arirang, which takes its title from a Korean folk song, is Ki-duk’s sixteenth feature and first film in three years. It is an autobiographical, confessional film which also won the 2011 Cannes Un Certain Regard section earlier this year.

Kim Ki-duk thanked the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) and the jury for the award.

“It’s a great honour, and I am sorry that I couldn’t be there with you. Arirang is my confession as a human being, and it’s about my idea about what a film is,” Ki-duk said.

“The judging criteria was to find the documentary that entertained, provoked, surprised and disturbed,” said Screen Queensland chief executive Maureen Barron in a press release.

BIFFDOCS was launched this year as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival, now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Repeat screenings of Arirang will be held on Friday, November 11 at 3pm and Sunday November 13 at 11am at Tribal Theatre.