“I haven’t been nominated for an award for a while, so I really just came to this ceremony tonight to enjoy and have fun,” the 34-year-old actor said during his speech.
“I thank director Kim Han-min who drew me into the world of costume drama, as well as my fellow actors and actresses, and my wife. And my deepest thanks go to my 7.4 viewers. I will act with much enthusiasm and free spirit in my future works.”
Director Jang Hun’s “The Front Line,” an action drama set during the 1951 negotiations for a military truce between North and South Korea, won four awards this year -- Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Lighting and Best Production.
Meanwhile, director Kang Hyung-chul won the Best Director award for “Sunny,” a high-school flick set in 1980s Seoul. The film, which was a huge box-office hit in the first half of the year, also received the Best Editing prize.
Yoon Sung-hyun, a 29-year-old director who debuted this year with his highly successful film-academy graduation project, “Bleak Night,” received the Best New Director prize. Actor Lee Je-hoon, who stars as the young protagonist in the film, received the Best New Actor prize. A deft cinematic portrait of three high school boys and their reckless passion, power struggles and twisted friendship, the film has been premiered at many international film festivals, including 2010 PIFF, 2011 Taipei Film Festival, and 2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Teen actress Shim Eun-kyung, who starred as the main character in “Sunny,” received the Best Supporting Actress prize for her supporting role in another film, “Romantic Heaven.”
Shim, who had originally been nominated for the Best Actress award for her role in “Sunny,” complained publicly through her Twitter account prior to Monday’s ceremony. “They removed my name from the official list of the nominees after I notified them I cannot attend the event as I am currently studying in the U.S.,” she wrote.
As Shim did not attend the ceremony, actress Cheon Woo-hee, who appeared as Shim’s fellow classmate in “Sunny,” accepted the honor on Shim’s behalf.
The awards committee had officially released the list of the nominees on Oct. 12, and released a new one on the day of the ceremony. The new list removed one nominee from the each of the four following categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
As a result, four actors and actresses -- Shim, Ryu Seung-ryong, Ryu Seung-beom, and Seo Young-hee -- were removed from the initial nomination.
The committee told the media that each of the four categories had six nominees, and they had to go through an extra poll to finalize the top five nominees for each. The committee members were not available for comment to The Korea Herald.
Won Bin, the winner of the Best Actor award last year for his role in “The Man from Nowhere,” received the Popularity award, while veteran actor Lee Dae-geun received the Achievement award.
Held annually by the Motion Pictures Association of Korea, the Daejong Film Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious film awards in Korea.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)