Movie Awards to Celebrate Year's End

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

"Welcome to Dongmakgol" has become the most commercially successful local film this year, attracting over 8 million moviegoers. But how "welcome" will it be at two upcoming domestic film award ceremonies?

The movie, about the friendship between Korean War soldiers in a mysterious village, has been nominated in eight categories out of 15 at the 26th Blue Dragon Awards to be held on Nov. 29, and in 13 categories out of 17 at the 4th Korean Film Awards taking place on Dec. 4.

But "Welcome to Dongmakgol" will face fierce competition at the ceremonies, as many other good films this year have made the nominee lists.

Among the 80 or so local movies that have opened this year, the Blue Dragon Awards has selected "Running Boy" - "Marathon", "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", "Blood Rain" and "You're My Sunshine" along with "Welcome to Dongmakgol" as candidates for the Best Picture award.

In the same category, the Korean Film Awards has almost the same nominee list, with "Crying Fist" and "Rules of Dating" being selected instead of "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and "Blood Rain".

In the Best Actor award category at the Blue Dragon Awards, the nominees are Park Hae-il from "Rules of Dating", Ryoo Seung-bum of "Crying Fist", Lee Byung-hun of "A Bittersweet Life" and Hwang Jung-min of "You are my Sunshine".

The 4th Korean Film Awards has similar nomination list except that it includes Jung Jae-young of "Welcome to Dongmakgol" instead of Lee Byung-hun.

Actor Hwang Jung-min was nominated not only for the Best Actor prize but also in the Best Supporting Actor categories in the two awards ceremonies for his role in "A Bittersweet Life".

For the Best Actress prize, Kang Hye-jung of "Rules of Dating", Lee Young-ae of "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and Jeon Do-yeon of "You are my Sunshine" have been nominated in both awards ceremonies.

At the Korean Film Awards, veteran actress Kim Mi-sook of "Running Boy" - "Marathon" will be in the competition, which is usually dominated by younger names.

Meanwhile, at the Blue Dragon Awards, pop singer Tak Jae-hoon has been nominated in the Best New Actor category for his comic character in "Marrying the Mafia II".

The Blue Dragon Awards ceremony will be held at KBS Hall in Yoido, Seoul while the Korean Film Awards, an event organized by the television network MBC, will be held at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul.

"Welcome to Dongmakgol", by debutant director Bae Jong, has been selected as Korea's entry to the 78th Academy Awards next year. It is expected to compete with movies from a record 58 countries in the Foreign Language Film category.

The film depicts encounters of soldiers from the South, the North and the U.S. at a remote mountain village called "Dongmakgol" where news of the war's breakout had not reached.

The warm-hearted fantasy film ranks first in Korea's box office take this year. It is the fourth largest film success in the nation's history, following "Taegukgi", "Silmido", and Friend.
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