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‘Inside Men,’ ‘The Wailing’ Top Korea’s Blue Dragon Awards

Crime thriller “Inside Men” was named as best picture at South Korea’s annual Blue Dragon film awards. Lee Byung-hun also won for his lead role in the film as playing a vengeful political henchman.

The awards (a.k.a Cheongryong) shone a spotlight on key titles at the end of a strong year for Korean film, both critically and at the box office. Last year awards were shared between major hits and indie releases.

“When I read the script, I thought it was a bit exaggerated, because it’s a fictional work. But at this point, it seems as if the reality is even more overwhelming than the movie,” said Lee in his acceptance speech. That was a reference to the bizarre incidents and political turmoil currently gripping Korea.

Winner of the most prizes was Na Hong-jin’s occult thriller “The Wailing,” which took home five trophies. The Fox release won best director for Na, best supporting actor for Japan’s Jun Kunimura, who also won a special award given to the most popular star of the year, and two technical awards.

The best actress award went to Kim Min-hee for her role in Park Chan-wook’s Cannes competition entry, “The Handmaiden.” The film also won best debut actress for Kim Tae-ri.

Lee Joon-ik’s black and white movie about historical figure Yoon Dong-ju, “Dongju; The Portrait of A Poet,” won best screenplay for producer-scriptwriter Shin Yeon-shik and the best debut actor for Kang Ha-neul.

Yoon Ga-eun won best debut director for “The World of Us,” which debuted at Berlinale in February.

Yeon Sang-ho’s zombie actioner “Train to Busan,” the year’s box office champion, was awarded prizes for the highest audience and for best editing.

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