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Daejong Film Awards under fire for attendance requirement

The Daejong Film Awards (or Grand Bell Awards) has found itself in a spot of controversy leading up to its upcoming ceremony in November, having announced a recent change in its rules. Per the change, awards will not be given to winners who do not attend the ceremony — they will instead be given to different nominees.

The announcement was made earlier this week in a press conference held in Seoul in October 13, citing that the organizing committee wanted to do away with awarding by proxy, disliking the practice of actors’ representatives accepting in lieu of the absent stars. The head of operations for the Daejong Film Awards, Jo Geun-woo, stated in interviews the following day that this decision was arrived at after discussions between the judging committee and eight organizations within the Motion Pictures Association of Korea. He added that they would work to ensure that fairness would not be compromised and that there would be no problems with the awarding of winners.

Which… seems fine to say in theory, but impossible to implement. It’s no surprise that the reaction has been largely derisive; backlash was swift and loud, and the public scorned the event as becoming the Perfect Attendance Awards or (in a pun on the name, daejong sang) the Half-Assed Awards (daechoong sang). This sounds, frankly, like an attempt to fix one problem by creating an even bigger one.

When Jo was asked what would happen in the event that all nominees were no-shows, he replied, “The details have not been decided yet. We will decide by the end of the month and make the announcement, and work to make sure it does not cause controversy.” TOO LATE.

The criticism isn’t just coming from the public, but from within the industry itself. Film industry professionals within the Motion Pictures Association are likewise scornful of the move, saying that representatives from organizations were excluded from the decision meeting. Sources with the Korea Film Actor’s Association called it difficult to understand and disrespectful of the actors.

The chair of the Motion Pictures Association of Korea, Jo Dong-gwan, defended the decision and said representatives were not excluded, naming one organization president, director Jung Jin-woo of the Korea Film Directors’ Society, as an attendee at the meeting. However, director Jung contradicted the claim, saying that such a decision wasn’t made at the meeting in question. He added, “Actors could have scheduling conflicts with filming or personal reasons causing them to not attend. Saying that they won’t be given an award if they don’t attend is ridiculous.”

I’m surprised that the committee found it necessary to take this drastic a step in the first place, since the Grand Bell Awards is one of the film industry’s highest-profile awards, and doesn’t usually lack for attendance. It’s the oldest film awards festival around, with red carpets that are glamorously star-studded and many of its winners A-list. Was the judging committee miffed that somebody skipped out on the ceremony last year? And even if the organizers were huffy that their awards were not being taken adequately seriously, isn’t this the kind of think you keep behind closed doors? The kind of warning you issue to the stars’ management quietly, not in writing, in veiled subtext?

The Grand Bell Awards hasn’t been without controversy before; its hitherto favorable reputation was tarnished in 1996 when it awarded Best Picture to Henequen, a film that had not even been released yet due to editing hiccups, giving rise to lobbying accusations. And there has been some talk in the past doubting the overall fairness in the judging process, including rumors that actors who wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony were excluded from nominations, or that there was a push to award popular films. (The results in 2012 drew some heat, when Gwanghae, the Man Who Became King massively swept with 15 awards. Apparently that was the ironic result of adopting blind judging that year.)

Still, I’m taken aback at how this latest announcement was stated so baldly and shortsightedly. How did they think making the subtext the actual text would improve the situation when they’re essentially coercing attendance by dangling trophies as part-carrot, part-hostage? Who thought this was a good idea?

We’ll see if the threat results in better butt-in-seat syndrome this year; the 52nd Grand Bell Awards will be held on November 20.

Via Oh My News, No Cut News, Sports World, TV Report

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What if no one shows?

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they should eat those trophies

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Lol ^o^

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Lol Daejong have started a voting app like baeksangs for popularity award which requires user to pay per vote. But the problem is that they have included popular actors like Kim Soohyun, Lee Jongsuk, etc who haven't had any film in last year; just to snatch more money from fangirls. Kim Soohyun is winning currently (ofcourse) and he hasn't done any movie in more than 2 years.

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Agreed.

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What a joke! LMAO!

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And the winner for best actor is. . .some random guy who is a seat filler.

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This is such an embarrassing ploy to increase attendance - specially when they never even lacked it. For a reputed award ceremony that's been going on for over half a century, did they really not realize how they just threw their name under a bus? I almost want none of the A-listers just for the laughs.

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This is so ridiculous? what kind of rule is that? This sounds like something a middle school teacher will do - "No attendance No marks". Next thing we know they are deciding the winners by playing rock paper scissors?

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You do know that that makes sense in middle school, right? If you don't show up to do the work, you can't get any scores. In this case, they're refusing to recognize or acknowledge work that has already been completed, submitted, and presumably accepted.

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Its a strange move, considering the award's status

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These might be stupid questions, newbie to the ceremonies, but when are the nominations going to be announced and what channel is the ceremony aired?

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You are not alone. I am also wondering that. Is this ceremony grander than KDA? imo KDA lacks a little glamour?

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I don't know when the nominations will be announced but it will be pretty soon. They have announced the nominees for popularity awards using vote.

Grand Bell is dubbed as Korean Oscars, so yeah they're quite glamour as the awards show is the oldest in Korea.

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So basically if actor A deserves the award because he has done the best job that year, he will lose the award if there is a scheduling conflict, and less deserving Actor B will get it instead. If I was B I would want to hide under a rock, because people would forever say I didn't deserve the award. Can you imagine if they did that at the Oscars? Hollywood actors who love a cause would band together and nobody would show up. I wonder if Korean actors are brave enough to stage a protest.

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I think Actor A, particularly if it's an A-lister, would not even care to attend in the first place.

Actor B is going to get the award, but it's obvious that s/he isn't the best but second best, so they might think of not attending either.

So, ultimately Actor M might get the award for a minor, non-talking role.

Thrown in all the actors who are interesting in acting and not awards (which are a joke in SK in any case) / celebrities status / fame / red carpet fashion show/ etc, and they'll definitely boycott because they always have.

The award will just be a bad joke.

Bottom line: this is going to backfire.

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*throw in
*interested in

(my apologies)

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It's just a step towards honesty. Awards are about award shows, red carpets and celebrity presence. If you don't show up, you are breaking your part of the entertainment deal.

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But sometimes they really can't attend the award ceremonies. Sometimes the actors probably in the middle of drama live-shoot or movie filming, or abroad for events/photoshoot/fanmeeting, or probably he/she is sick at that time.
Because Korean awards basically only invite those who win, so the winners should know beforehand if they win or not and can attend the show, but like I said above, sometimes they just UNABLE to attend the show.

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If you cannot attend, you are not qualified to win, period. You get the award primarily because they want you to attend the ceremony, and only secondarily because of some stuff you did in the past. You want to promote yourself and your production. They want your name and your presence. That's the deal.

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I respectfully Disagree, I think that is ridiculous!
The Actors didn't sign a contract with the Awards committee forcing them to attend a specific ceremony in order to be recognized and awarded for their job.

They are extremely busy people that just like you said yourself they are constantly promoting themselves, shooting movies, Having Fan meetings and dealing with many ordeals that their Agency throws at them. So if for what ever reason they can't go to an Award Ceremony it should be respected and Not held against them in such childish manner like this. It's very sad to see the "Daejong Film Awards" stood to such ridiculous levels just to get more Celebrities into their Red Carpet.

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This!

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That is ridiculous. This is about giving the award to who deserves it the most, not about showing up to the award ceremony itself. Doing this changes the awards ceremony from who did the best to who attended. It is no longer a best actor award if the best actor wasn't able to show up and instead went to 2nd or 3rd best. The award should then be called '2nd best actor because best actor didn't show up award'. When you say it's not really about what happened in the past then what's the whole point of an award show? It's whole purpose IS to reward what happened in the past.

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These awards shows are spiraling into a vicious cycle of losing respectability. It's bad enough that they seem to want to make sure that awards are distributed evenly among different celebrities or that they create all these weirdly named awards just to give to a popular celebrity so they bother showing up. It's never about who did the best work anymore.

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I agree with you, lately most of the winners get their awards because their agencies lobby and/or popularity than because of their skills.

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It's not only Daejong but within the entire industry there is alot of politics and huge rifts that is hidden under the rug so deep but yet again visible to the close looking eye.

I would say 95% of all award cermonies are rigged and filled with politics, people learn to chose their allies within the industry wisely because thats how you get an award and agencies are smart enough to ally themselves with the right PD's screen writes etc etc..

Haven't you noticed some Writers are only loyal to some individual actors and directors casting the same actor/actress as there lead its because they have good relationship aka allies in the industry because they need each other while they also benefit from each other and a lone wolf will be left outside and not in the house in that industry.

to much politics period.

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I guess they just decided to be clear with the "politics" that goes within the industry...
Still it's weird considering the status of this specific award ceremony, I thought it was one of/ if not the most trustworthy, prestigious one ...

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I got it, no wonder only winners attended awards ceremony like recent KDA awards. LOL.?. I guess KSH will get daesang over and over.

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The most likely reason is pressure from sponsors, who demands a good show with high viewership ratings.

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WHAAAT. The prospect is just damn sad, now every time a nominee isn't present, the winner will always be questioned. Film actors deserve better than this!

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It would be better if no one shows up just to serve them right!
Ridiculous decision!

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It's like a lottery drawing fine print: you must be present to win.
What's next, actor/directors/writers, etc. being forced to sign contracts agreeing to be present at award shows to be considered to be hired for a movie/drama?

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LMAO and this is new how? Every single awards show in Korea, be it a music or a drama/movie one gives awards based first and foremost on attendance. There's nothing new here...well except the fact that Grand Bell organizers were the first people to have the guts to admit it.

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In a way you're right, lately only winners attend the shows and it's simply because they know in advance who the winners will be and the rest of nominees just don't get an invitation to the ceremony. But even with that sometimes a sure winner just can't go and still get their award, so this statement of Grand Bell Awards is simply non sense.

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HAHAHA. Wow. "They would work to ensure that fairness would not be compromised." Dude, FAIRNESS CONPROMISED is written alllll over this decision, man.

Better fix this asap. Otherwise, I'd like to see the stars banning together to protest this ludicrous attendance policy by NOT showing up.

Wow.

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well, two can play at that game. Once the nominations are out, the nominees should decide among themselves the one they think should win from their own cathegory and that person should be the only one to attend.

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LOL! you made me laugh

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They should do a skit on SNL Korea where all the nominees meet up and do rock-paper-scissors.

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Brilliant idea!

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good idea!

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These awards just lost all of their remaining reputation.

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i am pretty sure the committee was talking about door prizes, not award for the skill of it's winner, ...... not!

they should change the name to grand bell door prize awards. you have to show up and stay till ur name called. if you leave early, you have to share the award with nominee who stayed till it's over. if no one show up, committee will be the winner. viewer will be the looser.

if nobody attend, committee will be in trouble and have to reimburse all costs from their own pocket and return all money received from advertiser, but the good news, they get to keep all the awards.

somehow the committee choose to go backwards.

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wasnt the last awards show shown here at dramabeans done the same way, ie if you not there you do not get an award? So it pretty simple to alway guess the winners and losers as only the winners bother to turn up..is that what they want for the film awards too, a room full of half empty tables?

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LMAO I think they are realizing they are not as well regarded as they think...or maybe not enough nominees/winners appeared for them even though many did and now they are on an ego trip?

I mean The Oscars has it's problems (oh the politics, voters who don't even watch all the movies...etc) but A+ listers and pretty much everyone else nominated or not makes sure to attend if they can. I wonder if the way filming is done in SK makes it much harder for actors to be flexible with their schedules so they couldn't attend even if they tried. I know so little about the SK filming industry so I have so many questions.

If this is the most prestigious film awards in korea though, this is just sad and a hot mess.

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so, now.. movie/drama awards = music shows?? no attendance no trophy/award?? hahaha.. untrustworthy ceremony.. sigh

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Shim Eun-kyung previously complained about this, when the Daejong Awards removed her from its list of Best Actress nominees in 2011 after she informed them she wouldn't be able to attend the ceremony because she was studying in the US.

http://mwave.interest.me/enewsworld/en/article/989/shim-eun-kyeong-receives-a-bitter-prize

They deserve all the bad press they're getting. Award shows in Korea aren't very credible as it is, but the Daejong and Blue Dragon awards are still considered somewhat prestigious, at least by its recipients. This was a stupid move.

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Award show in Korea is always like a circus ??

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If this happened in the US, actors would boycott that ceremony on principal of the thing. I dunno if Korean actors would have the same ideology, nevertheless, this is prodigiously stupid.

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daejong awards is like oscars? there is no popularity award in oscars. awards should be based on ability shown by their work! non-attendance forfeits an award? geez, crazy!

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