Korea's Blue Dragon Award Nominees Announced

Lee Chang-dong Conspicuously Absent from Nominees

SEOUL – Five nominees for the best picture of the Blue Dragon Film Awards given to innovative Korean films of the year were unveiled today. The nominees are The Man from Nowhere, Moss, Secret Union, A Taoist Wizard and Housemaid.  

Kang Woo-seok, the helmer of Moss and Im Sang-soo of Housemaid were nominated for best director along with Lee Jeong-beom of The Man from Nowhere, Jang Hoon of Secret Union and Choi Dong-hoon of A Taoist Wizard.

Kim Yun-jin from the ABC series Lost was nominated for best actress for her performance in Harmony, a story of female prisoners in a choir along with Yun Jeong-hee from Poetry who won the best actress at the Grand Bell awards and Jeon Do-yeon, who has previously won the best actress award at Cannes for director Lee Chang-dong’s drama Secret Sunshine. Su Ae from Midnight FM and Seo Yeong-hee from Bedevilled were also nominated in the section.  

For best actor, Lee Byung-hun from I Saw the Devil and Kang Dong-won from Secret Union were nominated along with Park Hee-soon from A Barefoot Dream, Won Bin from The Man from Nowhere and Jeong Jae-young from Moss.

Separately, the director Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry was excluded from the nomination for the award’s best picture and best director as Lee boycotted the awards and refused to attend the ceremony since 2002. Lee won the best pictures at the awards with his debut film Green Fish in 1997.

But Chosun Ilbo, a conservative South Korean newspaper which hosts the awards, has run into frequent conflicts with Lee when he served as the minister of culture, sports and tourism under a liberal government led by the late president Roh Moo-hyun in 2003. Regardless, actresses Mun Sori and Jeon Do-yeon who starred in Lee’s films were nominated for the awards and attended previous festivals.

“The film Poetry was excluded as Lee strongly expressed through direct and indirect routes that he will not attend the awards ceremony,” the awards’ organizers said in a press release. “But we nominated Yun based on a decision that the awards could not curtail the actor’s rights to her reward regardless of the director and the producer’s political judgment.”  

This year’s Blue Dragon Awards ceremony takes place on November 26 in Seoul.