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‘Minari’ takes home an Academy Award

The film, directed by U alum Lee Isaac Chung, received six nominations and one win in the best supporting actress category.

Congratulations to University of Utah alumnus Lee Isaac Chung MFA ’04 for his Academy Award nominations at the 93rd annual ceremony on Sunday, April 25, 2021. His film “Minari” deservingly received six nominations including best director, screenwriter, actor, supporting actress, original score and picture.

The film’s big moment of the night was Yuh-Jung Youn’s well-deserved win in the best supporting actress category. Youn portrays the family grandmother in the film, which has been lauded as a soaring ode to the experience of some immigrants, particularly those of Asian descent who settled in rural America.

Chung is a graduate of the U’s Department of Film & Media Arts in the College of Fine Arts and was also a professor at the University’s Asia Campus in Incheon, South Korea. Chung taught special courses including Introduction to Documentary Studies, Film History until 1952, Screenwriting I and Advanced Documentary Filmmaking in the film & media arts program for two semesters in 2018 and 2019. During his time at the U Asia Campus, Chung took students to Busan International Film Festival where he invited Youn to share her story with his students.

The film and media arts program has quickly become one of the most popular programs offered at U Asia Campus. The program launched in 2017, with just 11 students and more than 50 students were admitted to the program in 2020.

The film and media arts department on the U Asia Campus hosted a virtual screening event of Chung’s “Minari” ahead of the Oscars ceremony.

An exclusive screening event of “Minari” was held for staff and faculty on the U Asia Campus with English subtitles in partnership with the local theatre chain, MegaBox, with COVID-19 protocols observed. After the screening attendees had a conversation about the movie where many of the faculty applauded the storyline and screenplay and engaged in an in-depth discussion about the distinctive way Chung approached the film’s ending.

Learn more about Chung’s path to the Oscars.