Deputy Culture Minister Han Hyeong-min (left) and Bidangil Pictures CEO Kim Su-jin pose for photos at the 2021 Korea Content Awards on Wednesday. (Korea Creative Content Agency)
Korean content creators including TV director Na Young-seok, Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Jun-koo, production company Bidangil Pictures CEO Kim Su-jin and animation characters Loopy and Pinkfong were winners at the Korea Contents Awards on Wednesday.
The 2021 Korea Content Awards ceremony was held at Coex in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Korea Creative Content Agency)
The 13th edition of the annual awards, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency, recognizes contributions to developing and promoting Korean contents.
A total of 50 individuals across seven categories -- overseas achievements, achievements in TV programs, achievements in game industry, best cartoon, best animation, best character and best story -- received awards this year.
The Bogwan Order of Cultural Merit, the third-highest of five levels of state medals, was awarded to Kim Su-jin, Bidangil Pictures CEO, for expanding the Korean film industry with “The Chaser” (2008), “The Scam” (2009), “A Werewolf Boy” (2012) and “Space Sweepers” (2020). As Korea’s first space sci-fi film, “Space Sweepers” was recognized for showing Korea’s potential in creating successful sci-fi projects for a global audience.
Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Jun-koo and drama production company Studio Dragon were given presidential commendations in the overseas achievements category for promoting Korean webtoons and drama series, respectively.
Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Jun-koo is given a presidential commendation in the overseas achievements category of the 2021 Korea Content Awards. (Korea Creative Content Agency)
“Korea was not a land of opportunity for cartoon businesses. The comics were regarded as a subculture as well. However, the webtoon has become one of the key industries introducing Korean culture. I will continue to present amazing webtoon series to both local and global fans,” Kim said.
Starting this year, the Culture Merit Medal is being given to individuals who have contributed to spreading Hallyu and raising the country’s profile in the broadcast industry.
TV director Na was the winner of the first-ever Culture Merit Medal. Na is the creator of popular KBS variety show “1 Night 2 Days” as well as tvN’s hit reality series “New Journey to the West,” “Youn’s Kitchen” and “Grandpas Over Flowers.”
Na was noted in particular for his efforts in promoting various aspects of Korean culture to foreign visitors, who have had limited opportunities to explore and experience the country in visits to Korea amid the COVID-19 pandemic, through his program “Youn’s Stay.”
“Beauty Water” was among the five winners recognized in the best animation category at the 2021 Korea Content Awards.
Naver Webtoon’s “The Whale Star” (left) and animation “Beauty Water” win the presidential awards in the best cartoon and best animation categories, respectively, at the 2021 Korea Content Awards held in Seoul Wednesday. (Naver Webtoon, Triple Pictures)
Among the winners in other categories were Loopy, a pink character in “Pororo the Little Penguin,” created by Iconix; Pinkfong by Smartstudy; Naver Webtoon’s “The Whale Star”; and Kakao Page’s “Solo Leveling.”
“I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to the individuals who have worked hard to develop and promote the Korean contents on a world stage. The creative contents in broadcast, films, dramas, cartoons, animation and games did not only entertain global viewers, but brought smiles and relief to the Korean people, who suffered a tiring year with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Culture Minister Han Hyeong-min at Coex in southern Seoul on Wednesday.
By Lee Si-jin (email@example.com