Photo: Official website of Sundance Film Festival

Minari, starring actress Han Ye Ri in her first leading role in an American film, was honored with two awards at the 36th annual Sundance Film Festival. 

The awards ceremony for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival was held on the evening of February 1 at Park City, Utah in the US. The results were announced after the festival screened 128 feature films and 74 shorts over a period of 10 days following its opening on January 23. Minari took home the grand jury prize and audience award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section, making it the first grand jury prize winning film to receive two awards. 

Minari tells the story of a Korean-American family who moves to a farm in Arkansas in the 1980s, in search of the American dream. In addition to Han Ye Ri, the film also stars Steven Yeun, Youn Yuh Jung, Will Patton, Alan Kim, and Noel Kate Cho. Minari was directed by Lee Isaac Chung, whose debut feature Munyurangabo premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prize at AFI Fest.

Minari drew rave reviews from audiences and journalists alike after its two screenings at Sundance. Following its showings on the 26th at the Library Center Theater and the 28th at Eccles Theater, the members of the audience showed their approval by giving the film a standing ovation.  

The Washington Post called Minari “an unquestionable high point to this year’s Sundance, a breakout critical hit that with exquisite tenderness and simple beauty brings to life a classic immigrant tale and a compassionate family drama.” Other outlets such as The Playlist and Indiewire also gave the film high marks, with the THE WRAP calling Minari “among the very best movies of 2020 already.”