Asian-American filmmakers dismayed at Golden Globe rule on Korean-language film Minari

Minari tells the story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas to start a farm, but will be in the foreign language category at the Golden Globes.
Minari tells the story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas to start a farm, but will be in the foreign language category at the Golden Globes.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Asian-American filmmakers on Wednesday (Dec 23) expressed dismay that American movie, Minari, will compete for honours at next year's Golden Globes in the foreign language category, rather than the more high-profile best drama field.

Minari, the story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s, won the top prize at the Sundance film festival earlier this year and is expected to be a strong contender in the 2021 awards season.

Its cast and director are all Asian-Americans and the dialogue is predominantly Korean, but under longstanding rules drawn up by the organisers of the Golden Globes, contenders for its best drama award must feature at least 50 per cent English dialogue.

"It's a story about an immigrant family, in America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterises American as only English-speaking," tweeted Lulu Wang, the Chinese-American director of The Farewell (2019).

Former Hawaii Five-0 (2010 to 2020) actor Daniel Dae Kim said on Twitter the rule felt like "the film equivalent of being told to go back to your country when that country is actually America."

Mr Jacob Oller, who covers movies at Paste Magazine, was among some who called the rules racist.

Nominations for the Golden Globes will be announced in February 2021.

The Oscars have different rules, allowing South Korean drama satire Parasite (2019) to become the first foreign language film to win the coveted Academy Award for best picture in February. Parasite was excluded from the best drama race at the Golden Globes in January but won in the foreign language field.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose members from publications around the world choose the Golden Globe nominees and winners, declined comment and the cast and director of Minari could not be reached for comment.

Hollywood has made efforts to increase diversity behind and in front of the camera and at award shows since 2016 when all 20 Oscar-nominated actors were white for the second straight year.