’12.12: The Day’ sweeps grand prize, best film, best actor at Baeksang Arts Awards

May 8, 2024

Historical film “12.12: The Day” clinched the grand prize in the film category at the 60th Baeksang Arts Awards on Tuesday, alongside accolades for best film and best actor.

The historical saga depicting South Korea’s 1979 military coup claimed the top prize at the prestigious annual awards ceremony, spanning TV, film and theater in the country.

Actor Hwang Jung-min earned the best actor award for his portrayal of late dictator Chun Doo-hwan in the film, garnering critical acclaim for his realistic depiction of the character at the heart of the military coup.

“12.12: The Day” narrates the gripping nine-hour confrontation between Chun Doo-kwang (portrayed by Hwang), the mastermind behind the coup to seize power on December 12, 1979, as head of the Defense Security Command, and Capital Defense Commander Lee Tae-shin (played by Jung Woo-sung), who courageously opposes the coup at great personal risk.

“It was a challenge that demanded the courage of everyone who made the tough decision to participate in the film,” Hwang said, thanking the director for his support and encouragement.

“I lacked courage, but the director continuously instilled courage in me,” the actor said.

The occult thriller “Exhuma” swept four awards at the ceremony: best director (Jang Jae-hyun), best actress (Kim Go-eun), best rookie (Lee Do-hyun) and best technical achievement (Sound Director Kim Byung-in).

In the film, Kim portrays a young shaman who detects vengeful spirits haunting the ancestral grave of a wealthy family and embarks on a quest to uncover the source of the mysterious occurrences within the family. Lee Do-hyun plays another shaman who works alongside Kim.

“Exhuma”, released in February, has attracted nearly 12 million viewers.

In the TV category, the Disney+ sci-fi action series “Moving” secured the grand prize at the awards ceremony. Additionally, the series took home awards for best screenplay and best rookie.

Adapted from the popular webtoon of the same name, “Moving” became the second streaming service original series to claim the grand prize, following Netflix’s “Squid Game” (2022).

Namkoong Min and Lee Ha-nee each received the best actor and best actress awards, respectively, for their roles in “My Dearest” and “Knight Flower,” both airing on MBC TV.

Established in 1965, the Baeksang Arts Awards stand as one of the country’s most esteemed entertainment award ceremonies, recognizing excellence across the realms of television, film and theater.