A constellation of stars from the Korean film industry, including Kim Seon Ho, Han Hyo Joo, and Oh Jung Se, basked in the glory of recognition at the 59th Grand Bell Awards. The illustrious event, held at the Gyeonggi Arts Center in Suwon on November 15, stood as a testament to the brilliance and artistry that defines Korean cinema. Organised by The Motion Pictures Association of Korea, the Grand Bell Awards, also known as the Daejong Film Awards, unfolded against the picturesque backdrop of the Gyeonggi Arts Center, where luminaries gathered to pay homage to exceptional achievements in the vibrant realm of Korean filmmaking.
‘Concrete Utopia’ emerged as the powerhouse of the night, securing top honours in multiple categories, including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. The film’s triumph underscored its remarkable impact on audiences and critics alike.
The list of winners includes notable talents such as Kim Seo Hyung, who clinched the Best Actress award for her role in ‘Greenhouse’, and Lee Byung Hun, honoured as Best Actor for his compelling performance in ‘Concrete Utopia’. Oh Jung Se, recognized as Best Supporting Actor for ‘Cobweb’, added another accolade to his illustrious career.
Newcomers also claimed their spotlight, with Kim Seon Ho winning Best New Actor for ‘The Childe’ and Kim Si Eun securing Best New Actress for ‘Next Sohee’. The Best New Director title went to Ahn Tae Jin for ‘The Night Owl’, highlighting the promising future of Korean cinema.
The ceremony also bestowed Daejong’s Expected Actor and Director Awards upon Jung Sung Hwa for ‘Hero’ and Park Jae Bum for ‘Mother Land’, respectively. Dream Palace received the Daejong’s Expected Film Award.
In addition to the film categories, the Grand Bell Awards extended its recognition to outstanding achievements in series and documentaries. Han Hyo Joo, Choi Min Sik, and Kang Yoon Sung were among the esteemed winners in the series section, while Yang Young Hi received accolades for Best Documentary with ‘Soup and Ideology’.
Yoon Jung Hee claimed the title of Best Costume for her exceptional work on ‘Killing Romance’, elevating the visual allure of the film. The rhythm and flow of storytelling were finely tuned by Kim Sun Mi, who was honoured with the Best Editing award for her work on ‘The Night Owl’.
Hyun Gyu Jin and Ahn Tae Jin’s collaborative brilliance in crafting ‘The Night Owl’ was acknowledged with the Best Screenplay award, highlighting the narrative ingenuity that captivated audiences. The emotive soundscape of ‘Phantom’ was orchestrated to perfection by Dalpalan, earning the film the Best Score accolade. Choi Young Hwan’s lensing expertise in ‘Smugglers’ shone through as he claimed the Best Cinematography award, adding a layer of visual richness to the storytelling canvas.
The comprehensive list of winners captures the diversity and excellence within the Korean film landscape, honouring the creativity, talent, and dedication that continue to shape the industry’s trajectory. The 59th Grand Bell Awards served as a glittering celebration of cinematic achievement, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing legacy of Korean filmmaking.

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