Los Angeles: In a first for South Korea, master-director Bong Joon Ho earned the Academy Award for best original screenplay for his genre-defying "Parasite", while filmmaker Taika Waititi bagged the Oscar in the adapted screenplay category.
A visibly happy Bong went up on the stage and initially managed to say "Thank you, great honour," as the audience cheered and clapped on. The 50-year-old director, who has been the toast of this awards season surpassing the hurdle of subtitles that come along a non-English film, said writing scripts was a "lonely" process. "Writing scripts is always such a lonely process. We never write to represent our countries. This is the very first Oscar to South Korea.
"I thank my wife for always being an inspiration, thank all the actors who are here with me today for bringing this film to life," Bong said in his acceptance speech, through his translator Sharon Choi. As co-writer Han Jin-won thanked his parents for their support and storytellers at Chumro, Bong couldn't help staring lovingly at the Oscar trophy and smiling.
For adapted screenplay too, the Academy recognised the New Zealand-based director Waititi of the satirical anti-war film "Jojo Rabbit". Waititi became the first indigenous person to ever win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. An overwhelmed Waititi thanked his mother for introducing him to Christine Leunens's book "Caging Skies", that served as the basis for "Jojo Rabbit".
"Amazing, thank you. I like to thank my mother for being my mother and for giving me the book that I adapted. This wouldn't have existed without you doing that. Thank you to the producers of the film... There are many people I want to thank but won't because I can't remember them.
"This is really great and I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance. We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well," the 44-year-old filmmaker said. Both "Parasite" and "Jojo Rabbit" had also won the BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay.