SEOUL – Hong Sang-soo’s “Hill of Freedom” was today named as the year’s best Korean film by the Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards (KAFCA).

Set up in 1980, the Korean Film Critics’ Awards is the only film-related Korean awards show that has not recently been embroiled in a corruption scandal.

The KAFCA committee, composed of 88 local critics, praised “Hong’s insistence on sticking to his own, unique style and developing it.”

“Unlike other awards in Korea, we have striven to award films on their artistic merit, not on their box office successes,” Min Byeong-rok, chairman of the KAFCA said. Reflecting this philosophy, the awards ceremony took place at one of Seoul’s most renowned art cinemas, Art Nine.

Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu was named best director for his “Gyeongju,” with the best actor award going to Choi Min-sik of “Roaring Currents,” and Chun Woo-hee of “Han Gong-ju” named best actress.