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Indie film awards to open despite COVID-19 outbreak

The 7th Wildflower Film Awards Korea poster (Courtsey of the festival’s organizers)
The 7th Wildflower Film Awards Korea poster (Courtsey of the festival’s organizers)
The Wildflower Film Awards Korea will hold its annual ceremony Friday evening as the first film festival here to open since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Founded by the film critic and translator Darcy Paquet, Wildfower Film Awards recognizes the achievements of independent and low-budget films. The seventh edition of the event will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at the House of Literature located in central Seoul.

This year’s awards will hand out a total of 13 trophies, including the Achievement Award, which was previously to be handed out to the Korean Arthouse Cinema Association.

A total of 125 titles -- 83 fictional films and 42 documentaries -- produced with less than 1 billion won ($809,323) budget and released between Jan. 1, 2019, and Jan. 31 this year, have been screened for nominations.

Among them, seven film directors and five documentary directors have been nominated to vie for the awards’ most coveted Grand Prize.

The nominees include directors Choi Chang-hwan of “Back from the Beat,” Kim Bo-ra of “House of Hummingbird,” Yi Ok-seop of “Maggie,” Han Ka-ram of “Our Body,” Yoon Ga-eun of “The House of Us,” Lim Dae-hyung of “Moonlit Winter” and Kim Joong-hyun of “February” in the fiction film category and Kim So-young of “Goobye My Love, NK,” Kang Sang-woo of “Kim-Gun,” Song Won-geun of “My name is Kim Bok-dong,” Jung Sung-il of “Gravity of the Tea” and Kangyu Ga-ram of “Itaewon” in the documentary category.

An official from the event said they expect around 150 guests, including the finalists for the best actor and best actresses awards, to attend the ceremony. Last year’s winners Esom, Kim Sae-byuk and Lee Jae-in will be presenting the awards.

By Choi Ji-won (