Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean director and screenwriter who is responsible for directing some of the highest-grossing films in South Korean cinematic history. His success as a filmmaker in Korea brought him international attention, and Snowpiercer, his first English-language film, came out to critical acclaim in 2013.
Bong Joon-ho was raised by intellectuals and professors, and in spite of his early interest in film, was encouraged by his parents to pursue a more academic discipline, so he studied sociology at Yonsei University. After college, he took classes at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, and soon began shooting short films and working as a cinematographer. After working on the films of other directors, Bong shot his first film Barking Dogs Never Bite in 2000. Next, he directed Memories of Murder, then The Host, which a $12 million film which earned Bong international acclaim and pushed Korean filmmaking into the global spotlight. The Host tells the story of a mysterious and murderous monster, and the film received a warm reception at the Cannes Film Festival.
Next, Bong directed Mother, which also received critical acclaim at Cannes, and then in 2013, Snowpiercer, an English-language film based on a graphic novel, which received widespread praise. Based on the strength of this film, Bong was hired to direct Okja, produced—controversially enough—by Netflix, and which screened in competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2017. While many objected to the fact that Netflix was the film's producer, the film was met with a 4-minute standing ovation at the festival and received widespread praise.
In 2019, Parasite was released, and it has been Bong's most highly praised and successful film to date, winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes and Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best International Film at the Academy Awards.