- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) - A South Korean director who won the Golden Lion award for best movie at this year’s Venice Film Festival says he hopes the prize will encourage theater owners who have previously shunned his works to screen them more often.

Kim Ki-duk said Tuesday the award for “Pieta” is important because it will help persuade large corporate theater operators in South Korea to screen independent movies like his.

The 51-year-old director with no formal film training says he considered leaving South Korea for countries that welcome his work.

Kim’s previous 17 movies won little commercial success at home but caused a stir with their explicit violence.

“Pieta” is a drama about a brutal debt collector whose life takes a turn when a strange woman shows up claiming to be his mother.

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