‘Gwanghae’ reigns with 15 Daejong Film AwardsThe costume drama “Gwanghae: the Man Who Became the King” scored a knockout victory at the Korean “Oscar awards” on Tuesday, claiming best picture and 14 other trophies.
The box-office hit about King Gwanghae, the 15th ruler of Korea’s last kingdom, the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), was given the best picture award at the 49th Daejong (Grand Bell) Film Awards.
Lee Byung-hun won the best actor award for his dual role as the king and the humble acrobat Ha-sun, who stands in for the monarch when he faces the threat of being poisoned. Choo Chang-min was chosen as best director.
The movie also received awards for best supporting actor, editing, most popular artist, lighting, screenplay, costume design, art direction, music, cinematography, technical achievement and sound effects.
The festival, established in 1962 and the most prestigious in the country, is considered Korea’s Academy Awards.
As “Gwanghae” swept two-thirds of the 23 awards up for grabs at the annual event, “Pieta,” directed by Kim Ki-duk, and “The Thieves,” a star-studded heist film that set an audience record of more than 13 million viewers, won one prize each.
The best actress award went to Jo Min-su for her role as the self-proclaimed birth mother of the male protagonist in “Pieta.” Kim Hye-sook picked up the best supporting actress award for her role in “The Thieves” about 10 Korean and Chinese thieves who plot to steal a diamond necklace in Macau.
“Gwanghae” has drawn more than 11 million at the box office, becoming the second local film this year to break the 10-million mark following “The Thieves.”
In Korea, films drawing 3 million to 4 million are considered a box-office success. Only five other local films have ever surpassed the 10-million mark.