Noted South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk passed away due to COVID-19 complications in Latvia on Friday. According to the Lithuanian news website LRT, Kim was in Latvia looking to buy property in order to get a residency permit.
According to The Korea Herald Ki-duk’s family confirmed to multiple Korean media that he had indeed breathed his last.
When in Latvia, Kim Ki-duk reportedly did not show up for scheduled meetings. Concerned colleagues began looking for him in hospitals. He passed away at 1:20 AM on Friday, December 11, 2020.
He debuted with Crocodile in 1996, and shot to fame with the 2001 film The Isle, which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kim Ki-duk was celebrated among East Asian filmmakers, and was awarded Golden Lion at 69th Venice International Film Festival for Pieta, Silver Bear for Best Director at 54th Berlin International Film Festival for Samaria, Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2011 for Arirang and numerous other accolades.
He was the only South Korean director to win at the three major European film festivals.