"Jiseul" can add a Wildflower Award to its list of international accolades. ©All rights reserved - Japari Films

“Jiseul” can add a Wildflower Award to its list of international accolades.
©All rights reserved – Japari Films

(Relaxnews) – Sundance and Busan alumnus “Jisuel” scored top honors at the Wildflower Film Awards Korea, while tale of atonement “Fatal” took two accolades from the annual ceremony’s inaugural edition.

Depicting historical events that took place upon South Korea’s isolated Jeju Island in 1948, “Jisuel” (or “지슬”) focuses on the fate of 60 villagers who hid in a cave, seeking refuge from the violent turmoil outside.

It was shot on a budget of ₩210 million ($198,000 USD) but made box office takings of ₩990 million ($935,000 USD), according to Film Business Asia — outperfoming South Korea’s next biggest indie hit, 2009’s “Breathless.”

The Jeju-born director, O Muel, had already seen his film win a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2013, and at the Wildflower Awards it left with the Best Cinematography gong in addition to that of Best Picture.

“Fatal” (also known as “가시꽃”) scooped Best New Director for Lee Don-ku and Best Actor for leading man Nam Yeon-u, with the film following a man who is struggling to atone for a regrettable incident that mars his youth.

Also featuring at the April 1 awards were Jung Eun-chae, who won Best Actress for her role in romantic psychological drama “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” (“누구의 딸도 아닌 해원”), and Lee Jun, who won Best New Actor or Actress after appearing in rags-to-riches tale “Rough Play” (“배우는 배우다”).

“The Fake” (“사이비”) won Best Director for Yeon Sang-ho, “Scenery” (“풍경”) won Best Documentary, and the Seoul-focused picture “City: Hall” (“말하는 건축, 시티:홀”) was given the Documentary Jury Award.

Winners were decided using a combination of votes from Wildflower’s organizing and selection committees, an invitational jury, and members of the public; eligibility was extended to films released in 2013 and shot on a budgetary maximum of ₩1 billion ($945,000 USD).

Watch the “Jiseul” trailer: youtu.be/TQivmP37fAQ

cp/kc