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‘Jiseul’ Plucks First Wildflower Korea Award

New awards recognize fragility of indie film-making in Korea

HONG KONG – Black and white drama “Jiseul” and migrant worker documentary “Scenery” were named on Tuesday as winners of the inaugural Wildflower Film Awards Korea.

The awards, organized by former Variety correspondent, Darcy Paquet, are intended to recognize films and film-makers working on low budgets and outside South Korea’s mainstream commercial industry.

“Jiseul,” directed by o Muel, and previously screened at Busan (2012) and Sundance (2013), was named as best film. It tells a story of civilians caught up in the military’s violent suppression of unrest on Jeju Island in 1948.

Directed by Zhang Lu, “Scenery” probes the experiences of migrant workers in South Korea and the spaces they inhabit.

Eligible films included some 60 features with budgets under KRW 1 billion (US$900,000) and 20 documentaries that received a theatrical release in Korea in the calendar year 2013.

Awards were chosen by a 12 person jury who met through the year and by an online public ballot which accounted for 30% of the votes.

The awards ceremony capped a 5-day screening series (March 27-31, 2014) in which 14 of the nominated films were screened with guest visits at CGV Apgujeong Movie Collage in Seoul.

The organization also intends to publish an annual bilingual book containing essays and interviews about the nominated and winning films.

Best Picture (fiction films)
“Jiseul,” dir. O Muel

Best Documentary
“Scenery,” dir. Zhang Lu

Best Director (fiction films)
“The Fake,” dir. Yeon Sang-ho

Documentary Jury Award
“City: Hall,” dir. Jeong Jae-eun

Best Actress
Jung Eun-chae, “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon”

Best Actor
Nam Yeon-woo, “Fatal”

Best New Actor or Actress
Lee Joon, “Rough Play”

Best New Director
Lee Don-ku, “Fatal”

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