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'Parasite' Makes Oscars History as First Foreign Language Film to Win Best Picture

'Parasite' Makes Oscars History as First Foreign Language Film to Win Best Picture

In a neck-and-neck race between 1917 and Parasite, the latter ultimately came out on top, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture during Sunday's 92nd annual Academy Awards.

Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-hohis cast and the entire Parasite team took the stage to accept the top award of the night. It is the first time an international film has won the category and the first time an Asian producer has won the Oscar for Best Picture in the ceremony's 92-year history. 

"I'm speechless," an emotional Parasite producer Kwak Sin-ae said through an interpreter when she took the stage on Sunday. "We never imagined any of this to happen. We are so happy."

"I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now," she continued, shock still evident in her voice during her acceptance speech. "I express my deepest gratitude to the members of the Academy for making this decision."

Heiress-turned-entertainment mogul Miky Lee, who is key player in the Korean media conglomerate CJ Group, also thanked Bong for being the fearless leader behind Parasite, praising every aspect of his peerless talents and his personality, including his ability to poke fun at himself in an endearing way.

But Lee's speech almost went unheard, as the lights had been dimmed, signaling the end of the awards ceremony. It took an enthusiastic crowd, led by stars like Tom Hanks, to prompt them to bring the lights back up so she could be heard.

A genre-bending comedy about the haves and have nots and drama in one family's fight to climb the ladder of aspirationalism, Parasite established itself as an Oscars frontrunner after winning the Cannes Film Festival's top honor, the Palme d'Or, and SAG's ensemble award.

"The Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards were big surprises," director Bong recently told ET. "But of course the Academy, it was a big surprise for me, our team and also just everyone in Korea. Because it is the very first time -- for me and also [the] Korean industry."

Now, it has made history multiple times over: Parasite was the first South Korean film to be nominated by the Academy, the first South Korean film to win an Oscar and, finally, the first non-English language film to ever win Best Picture.

Parasite earned six Oscar nominations in total this year and won four major categories, including Best Director (for Bong), Best International Feature (renamed from Best Foreign Film) and Best Original Screenplay.

ET spoke with director Bong on the red carpet ahead of the Oscars, where he reflected on already making history -- Parasite was the first-ever Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture -- and possibly doing so several more times over during the Academy Awards.

"It's the first time a Korean film has been nominated, but it's also cinema's strength to communicate with a universal audience, so in some ways it feels very inevitable," he said.

This won't be the last time Parasite will be in the conversation. HBO is developing a potential TV series with Bong, and at the Producers Guild Awards in January, he hinted at what fans could expect should it move forward.

"Even when I was writing the script, I had all these ideas I couldn't convey, all these hidden things I couldn't happen in the story so I want to create a six-hour film and give all those ideas to Adam McKay," he told ET. "It's an extended movie." 

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