Thanks to the recent success of Bong Jong-ho's Parasite, interest in Asian cinema and Asian directors are on the rise. Directors from cinema powerhouses like South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong have already been a frequent presence in the international film scene, but there's still a lot more from the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and other parts of Asia that you should know.
Here, we put the spotlight on some of the household names in the Asian film industry, from the likes of Park Chan-wook, Wong Kar-wai, Hou Hsiao-hsien, as well as those who are emerging on the horizon such as Antoinette Jadaone and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Parasite might be what jumpstarted the interest of many in Asian cinema but it's certainly won't be the last.
1. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea
If you still don't know who Bong Joon-ho is, chances are, you may have spent the last year on a digital detox. While Bong's achievements are far and wide, the one that shot him to worldwide status is his award-winning film, Parasite (2019), which brought home the trophy for the first South Korean film to win Best International Feature Film and Best Picture at the Oscars. But Bong has always been a force in the industry, already establishing a cult following after the release of his debut film, Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000).
The subsequent release of his later films such as The Host (2006) and Memories of Murder (2003) also enjoyed commercial success. Bong is one of the most successful directors to come out of South Korea with critics praising the definite trademark of his films such as sudden tone shits or slapstick humour. A household name in his native South Korea, it's thanks to Bong that many who may never have watched a non-English language film are finally paying attention to Asian cinema.
Notable works: Parasite (2019), Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006)
See also: 7 Korean Movies To Watch On Netflix