The Handmaiden Wins BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language

The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of Sarah Waters’s award-winning novel FINGERSMITH, has won the BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language.

At the awards ceremony on 18 February, The Handmaiden beat four other films to become the first Korean film to win a BAFTA. The film first screened at British cinemas in April 2017; it has since garnered great praise in the UK and the US, grossing over $37 million worldwide.

In an interview with The Guardian, Waters described being struck by “how faithful it managed to be to FINGERSMITH even though it’s in Korean and Japanese and set in a different period,” with the novel’s Victorian England translated to 1930s Korea under Japanese occupation.

FINGERSMITH was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes and was awarded the CWA Historical Dagger and the South Bank Show Award for Literature, among other prizes. Since its publication in 2003, the novel has been translated into 20 languages.