A festival of film award contendersThe Grand Bell Prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious film awards in Korea. But in recent years, the prize, which was initiated by the government in 1962 to promote Korean films with noted artistic value, has been criticized for being too market-driven, focusing too much on the red carpet and the faces of the celebrities at the awards ceremony.
To revamp the award's image, the organizers originally planned to create a more public event this year, starting with an outdoor screening at Seoul Plaza of a film, “Bloody Tag,” to inaugurate a weeklong festival of this year’s competing films. “Bloody Tag” is a North Korean film that deals with three brothers who risk their lives to keep a tag containing a map of a golden Buddha statue which is supposed to prove that Dokdo belongs to Korea. But because of a last minute cancellation of the outdoor screening due to potential rain, the event is set to begin tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Seoul Plaza Hotel.
The other films will be screened at the Myungbo Cinema through Thursday, followed by the awards ceremony next Friday.
The competing films include “Ghost House,” “Everybody Has Secrets,” and “Temptation of Wolf.” But also featured are such edgier “auteur” films as “Bittersweet Life” by Kim Ji-un, “The President’s Last Bang” by Lim Sang-su, “Crying Fist” by Ryu Seung-wan and “This Charming Girl” by Lee Yun-gi.
But the highlight, after all, is the glamour of the celebrities. Choi Min-sik and Mun So-ri, the hottest Korean actors in the movie industry right now, will appear as the award’s ambassadors on opening night to celebrate the evening.
by Park Soo-mee
Films at the Myunbo Cinema will be screened daily at 10 a.m. and at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. No English subtitles. For more information call 02-2268-3684.