The Korea Herald


Grand Bell Film Awards to proceed this year despite crisis

By Kim Da-sol

Published : June 28, 2024 - 14:34

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Actor Cha In-pyo (left) and comedian Jang Do-yun host last year's 59th Daejong Film Awards in Seoul on Nov. 19, 2023. (Daejong Film Awards) Actor Cha In-pyo (left) and comedian Jang Do-yun host last year's 59th Daejong Film Awards in Seoul on Nov. 19, 2023. (Daejong Film Awards)

Grand Bell Film Awards, the country’s oldest and once most prestigious film awards, announced its return to normalcy this year.

According to the head of the Motion Pictures Association of Korea, the agency that hosts the awards, the 60th Grand Bell Film Awards will take place in December.

Once regarded as the country’s top awards in cinema, the Grand Bell Film Awards has struggled to recover from a string of controversies, including over unfair selection of winners and poor event organization.

Last November, the ceremony was disgraced by poor turnout. Soon after the event, the awards went bankrupt, raising questions about the future of what is still one of Korea's largest film award ceremonies.

According to the association, its former executive filed for bankruptcy. He was also one of the creditors and left the association in 2022. The association has accused Kim of attempting to privatize the event and deprive the association of its rights.

Despite facing a financial crisis and a declining reputation, the “show must go on,” the association said.

“(The awards ceremony) will become a global brand by overcoming the crisis with all movie people joining efforts. … the awards ceremony is a legacy that should be passed down to the next generation,” said Yang Yun-ho, the president of the association, during a press conference held in Seoul on Thursday.

He added that the association will commit to overcoming the financial and reputational challenges.

According to Yang, the agency has applied for a rehabilitation procedure in February in order to resolve its financial turmoil. But the process has been in limbo with creditor Kim demanding Yang step down as president position.

Launched in 1962, the Grand Bell Film Awards is the oldest among the country’s top three biggest film awards ceremonies besides Baeksang Arts Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.

In recent years, the awards sought to start afresh and went for a complete overhaul, inviting YouTube creators and TikTok stars to the event as presenters, but the majority of the public saw their attendance as irrelevant.