South Korean actor Yoo Ji-tae

HONG KONG — New prizes for ‘Actor & Actress of the Year’ will be awarded for the first time at the upcoming edition of the Busan International Film Festival (Oct. 2-11, 2014).

Performers in any of the Korean-made independent film playing in festival’s New Currents or Korean Cinema Today – Vision sections will be eligible. The winners will be picked by actress Kim Hee-ae (“Elegant Lies,” TV’s “Secret Love Affair”) and actor Yoo Ji-tae (“Oldboy,” “One Fine Spring Day”.)

The festival said that it is inaugurating the prizes in order to give more attention to actors and actresses, and balance out the search for new directing talent.

Many actors and actresses from independent films have seen their careers break out after screenings at Busan, the festival says. Examples include Ha Jung-woo in “The Unforgiven” (2005), Lee Je-hoon in “Bleak Night” (2010), Yu Da-in in “Re-encounter” (2010), and Chun Woo-hee in “Han Gong-ju” (2013).

Winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on Oct. 11 and each receive US$5,000 (KRW5 million). 

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