Wow. If ever the term ‘whitewash’ was applicable to an awards ceremony, then the 49th Daejong Film Awards held in Yeouido on October 30th, was it. Period drama Masquerade (광해, 왕이 된 남자) received an astonishing 15 awards – out of a possible 22 – on the night, winning in every category in which it was nominated.
Critics were quick to point out that such a sweeping victory made the Film Award ceremony meaningless, and that with so many high quality productions released such as The Thieves (도둑들), A Muse (은교), Pieta (피에타) and Architecture 101 (건축학개론), it was unfair. Yet, even when taking such claims into consideration, it is difficult to argue against the decisions made by the judges. Masquerade is a sumptuous period drama utilizing the exquisite traditional clothes of the Joseon dynasty as well as historical locations which virtually guaranteed the technical awards, while the performances of the central cast have received incredible critical acclaim. As such, the drama won Best Film, Best Director for Choo Chang-min, Best Actor for Lee Byeong-heon, Best Supporting Actor for Ryoo Seung-ryeong, Best Screenplay for Hwang Jo-yoon, as well as a host of production awards.
Yet it wasn’t entirely Masquerade‘s night, as the Best Actress award went to Pieta star Jo Min-soo while Best Supporting Actress went to Kim Hae-sook for The Thieves. Best New Actor went to Kim Seong-gyoon for his role in Neighbors (이웃사람), while her stunning turn as a high school student in A Muse earned Kim Go-eun the Best New Actress award. Best New Director went to Choi Jong-tae for Hand in Hand (해로).
For the full list of nominees and victors, please visit Asian Wikipedia here.