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Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival

Ryoo Seung-wan’s “Veteran” won the best film prize at the 25th Bu-il Film Awards, a local film awards event organized by Busan Daily newspaper. The hit action comedy starring Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in also took the best cinematography award for Choi Young-hwan.

Launched in 1958, Bu-il Film Awards is one of the longest-running film awards in South Korea. Annually held in Haeundae during the Busan Film Festival, they normally add color to the festival. But with tension still surrounding BIFF, this year they provided more of a counterpoint. Some notable figures including Lee Joon-ik and Shin Yeon-shik attended the awards, but will not take part in the festival.

Lee black and white period drama “Dongju; The Portrait of A Poet” was the numerical winner of the night, as it took three trophies home: best director for Lee; best screenplay for producer-writer Shin; and best music direction to Mowg.

Lee Byung-hun took the best actor for his performance in “Inside Men,” one of the biggest Korean hits from 2015. Best actress went to Son Ye-jin for “The Truth Beneath,” director Lee Kyoung-mi’s second feature film.

“I felt sorry that not many people have loved or related to ‘Truth’,” said Son, mentioning the film’s box office flop. “[But] the director made me realize the craziness and guts deep down in me. I will keep making endless efforts to become a better actress,” she continued.

Best supporting actor awards went to Kim Eui-sung for “Train to Busan” and Park So-dam for “The Priests.” The two hit titles—a zombie pic and an occult thriller—have triggered a genre rush in mainstream filmmaking in Korea.

“The World of Us” director Yoon Ga-eun took the best new director trophy home. “World of Us” premiered in Berlinale this year. Best new actor awards were handed to Tae In-ho for 2015 indie production “Shadow Island,” and Kim Tae-ri for “The Handmaiden.”

“I would like to attribute tonight’s glory to director Park Chan-wook and his staff, and Kim Min-hee, with whom I fell in love at first sight,” said Kim.

“Handmaiden” also won a technical award for Ryoo Seong-hee’s production design.

 

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