'Inside Men' sweeps five prizes at Daejong Film Awards

Su Jin Jang, Dec. 28, 2016, 9:19 a.m.


South Korean crime thriller "Inside Men" swept the board at this year's Daejong Film Awards, one of the nation's top film honors, on Tuesday. Woo Min-ho's movie won best film, best director and best screenwriter for himself; best actor for its male lead Lee Byung-hun; and best planning for its producer Kim Won-guk.

Also starring Cho Seung-woo and Baek Yun-shik, the movie portrays the complicated relationships between politicians, the press, the rich, law enforcement authorities and organized crime in South Korea.

Lee was honored for his lead role as the vengeful political henchman Ahn Sang-gu in the movie.

Son Ye-jin of "The Last Princess" was named best actress, while the best supporting actor and actress awards went to Uhm Tae-gu and Ra Mi-ran of "The Age of Shadows" and "The Last Princess," respectively.

Actor Jung Ga-ram and actress Kim Hwan-hee of "Fourth Place" and "The Wailing" won best rookie prizes, while Cho Jung-rae of "Spirits' Homecoming" was named the best rookie director.

As South Korea's equivalent of the Academy Awards, the Daejong Film Awards was launched in 1962 to boost the quality of Korean films and to support the industry. 

But the longest-running and once the most prestigious film event in Korea lost luster when none of the candidates in major categories showed up at the 52nd edition of the awards last year in protest of the way the awards are managed.

Things were no different at this year's event, with most of the winners staying away from the awards ceremony citing busy schedules.

"It's a pleasure to win a prize, but at this very moment I feel heavy-hearted above all," Lee said in his acceptance speech during the ceremony in Seoul's Sejong University. "I don't think that the dishonorable disappearance of the 53-year-old and once honorable event could be a solution to this problem. Changes can begin at the very moment when we're united in one mind and make efforts to bring them."

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