Lee Sun-kyun wins posthumous special award from American film association

A scene from late actor Lee Sun-kyun's film ″Sleep″ (2023) [LOTTE ENTERTAINMENT]

Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA), an American film association, awarded late Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun with a special award on Thursday.

Lee, who was found dead on Dec. 27, was honored with the Special Award by AFCA to pay tribute to his career.

"In memoriam of the life and works of Lee Sun-kyun," the association said in its blog post announcing its 2023 awards winners, referencing some of his films "Parasite" (2019), "Sleep" (2023) and not-yet-released "Project Silence."

The Austin Film Critics Association was founded in 2005, and its awards are considered one of the awards that can predict the winners of the upcoming Academy Awards.

Lee debuted as an actor in 2001 and was known globally for starring in the Oscar-winning 2019 film "Parasite," directed by Bong Joon-ho. The actor was found dead in an apparent suicide inside his car last month, while he was under police investigation since October last year on suspicion of drug use.

After the late actor's death, the entertainment industry raised calls for answers regarding the death of Lee. Bong, along with other entertainment professionals such as actors Kim Eui-sung, Choi Duk-moon and singer Yoon Jong-shin, issued a statement and demanded a detailed explanation from the police on how it handled the late actor's drug use allegation during a press conference held Friday at the Korea Press Center in Jung District, central Seoul.

To find out more about Lee Sun-kyun, visit Celeb Confirmed!

If you or someone you know is feeling emotionally distressed or struggling with thoughts of suicide, LifeLine Korea can be contacted at 1588-9191 or the Crisis Counseling Center at 1577-0199. The Seoul Global Center offers English-language counseling, contact 02-2075-4180 (+1) to arrange a session. Other international helplines can be found at