The 49th Daejong Film Awards

The 49th Daejong Film Awards – 2012

The 49th Daejong Film Awards

The 49th Daejong Film Awards

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.

Film News

The London Korean Film Festival 2012

The 2012 installment of the London Korean Film Festival begins this coming weekend, opening on the 1st of November and continuing through to the 11th in the capital before taking the show on the road to Glasgow, Bristol and Bournemouth. This year has been incredible for Korean cinema and the quality of films produced is reflected in the stellar line-up.

The opening gala, to be held at he high profile Odeon West End, will feature the most successful film in Korean cinematic history – The Thieves (도둑들). Following the screening will be a Q&A session with director Choi Dong-hoon (최동훈) and actor Kim Yoon-seok (김윤석), who has appeared in such prolific films including The Chaser (추격자), The Yellow Sea (황해), and Punch (완득이). Bookending the festival on the 10th of November will be the hugely – and still currently – successful film Masquerade (광해, 왕이 된 남자), also featuring an Q&A with director Choo Chang-min (추창민) and superstar Lee Byeong-Heon (이병헌), who is in London filming action film Red 2.

The festival will also highlight several other of the notable films produced in Korea this year, including science-fiction disease thriller Deranged (연가시) about a new form of parasite that spreads chaos across Korea, comedy-drama Dancing Queen (댄싱퀸) involving a middle-aged woman who attempts to realize her life-long ambitions, and poetically romantic Eungyo (AKA A Muse) (은교) which explores the love that develops between an aging poet and a 17 year old girl. Also present are All About My Wife (내 아내의 모든 것), a comedy about a man desperately trying to divorce his nagging other half, table tennis drama As One (코리아) which is based on the true events of the Northern and Southern teams forced to play together at the 1991 Championships, and Top Gun-inspired action film R2B: Return to Base (R2B: 리턴투베이스).

The Thieves (도둑들)

The Thieves (도둑들) will open the festival

Animated films are ably represented in the form of stark, poignant drama King of Pigs (돼지의 왕) about a reunion of school friends that forces old secrets to light, and indie hit Padak (파닥파닥) involving a fish attempting to escape his fate at a sushi restaurant and return to the ocean. Katuri – A Story of a Mother Bird (엄마 까투리), will also feature.

To honour director Choi Dong-hoon (최동훈), as well as opening the festival with his latest success The Thieves there will also be a retrospective of his work including The Big Swindle (범죄의 재구성), Tazza: The High Rollers (타짜), and Jeon Woo-chi : The Taoist Wizard (전우치).

For the full line-up and to purchase tickets for the event, please head over to the official London Korean Film Festival website, or alternatively visit Hangul Celluloid who first broke news of the line up and sports a host of reviews and interviews with those within the industry.

Festival News Festivals 2012