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Local productions by Hollywood studios led the nominations list, unveiled on Monday, for the 2016 Blue Dragon Awards, South Korea’s top annual film awards.
It is set to vie for prizes in 11 out of 15 competitive categories, including for best film, director, screenplay, leading actor, supporting actress and new actress. Directed by Na Hong-jin (The Chaser, The Yellow Sea), The Wailing traces a series of mysterious deaths in a rural town following the arrival of a foreigner. Noted for featuring elements of Korean shamanism and zombie films, it sold widely across multiple territories since its international premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Wailing will compete for best film, director and leading actor honors against The Age of Shadows, the first local production in Korea by Warner Bros. The historical action thriller by Kim Jee-woon has been nominated for seven honors, including in the music, art direction and lighting categories. The film was also chosen as Korea’s entry for the best foreign-language film race at the 2017 Oscars.
Other big competitors for top prizes are summer zombie blockbuster Train to Busan (Next Entertainment World) and erotic thriller The Handmaiden (CJ Entertainment). Train to Busan, which is the live-action film debut of animator Yeon Sang-ho, is up for nine awards, while Park Chan-wook’s Cannes competition piece will vie for prizes in eight categories. Both titles are up against The Wailing and The Age of Shadows for best film.
Other competing films include disaster thriller The Tunnel (Showbox) and crime noir movie The Insiders (Showbox), each of which received six nominations, and exorcism horror film The Priests (CJ Entertainment) and crime actioner Asura: The City of Madness (CJ Entertainment), each of which received five nominations.
Launched by local daily Sports Chosun in 1963, the Blue Dragon Awards this year saw nominees chosen from films that theatrically opened between Oct. 9, 2015 and Oct. 9, 2016, considering votes by a jury of professionals, as well as an online poll of fans.
Winners this year will be announced at the 37th edition of the event to be held on Nov. 25. Ahead of the awards ceremony, nominated titles will be screened for free at CGV Yeouido Nov. 9-18.
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