Year's Blockbuster Movies and Actors Vie For Honors at the Blue Dragon AwardsWhich motion pictures will dominate the 21st Blue Dragon Awards in 2000? According to the organizers of the event, which began in 1963, awards will be given in 15 categories, including best film, best actor and best actress. The nominees were selected by an Internet poll earlier this month.
The five films nominated for the best film award are Park Chan-wook's "JSA," Im Kwon-taek's "Chunhyang," Kim Jee-woon's "The Foul King," Hong Sang-soo's "The Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors" and Lee Chang-dong's "Peppermint Candy."
"The year 2000 was a productive year for the film business. Choosing only five films as nominees in this category was difficult," said An Yong-jun, with the planning department of the Blue Dragon Awards.
While nominees were selected by Netizens, winners will be chosen by a panel that will include filmmakers, producers, media personalities and academicians. The public could influence the decision-making process, though - it recommended "JSA" as best film in an Internet opinion poll, giving it 99,317 votes. Some 5.3 million people have seen the film since its release on Sept. 9.
However, "JSA" faces some tough contenders for the coveted best film award. "Chunhyang" was the first Korean film to be submitted to the official competition section at the Cannes International Film Festival. "Peppermint Candy" has also racked up a number of accolades, including a joint special jury prize at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.
Nominees for best actor, Song Gang-ho and Lee Byung-hun - who won acclaim for their per-formances in "JSA" - are also up against stiff competition. Their rivals for the award are Sul Kyung-gu ("Peppermint Candy"), Shin Hyun-jun ("Bi-Chun-Moo") and Yoo Ji-tae ("Ditto").
The five actresses nominated for best actress include Lee Young-ae ("JSA"), Kim Ha-nul ("Ditto"), Shim Eun-ha ("Interview"), Lee Mi-yeon ("Pisces") and Chun Do-yeon ("Happy End"). The favorite for the award is Lee Young-ae, who captivated the public and critics alike as the cold and intellectual Swiss-Korean military officer in "JSA." Lee is also well known for her roles in a number of TV soap operas. But she will face formidable competition from Shim Eun-ha, the 1998 nominee for "Christmas in August" and Chun Do-yeon, the 1999 nominee for "Organ in My Heart."
This year's Blue Dragon Awards ceremony will be held at the main hall of the National Theater of Korea on Dec. 1, and will be televised live by the Munwha Broadcasting Corporation. For more information, visit http://sports. chosun.com/ blue-dragon.
Organizers said the nominated films will be shown from Dec. 25-30 at the Megabox theater in the Coex Mall, Kangnam in Seoul.
by Kim Jae-seon