(Top) Song Kang Hon in 'A Taxi Driver' and Park Seo Joon (bottom left) in 'Midnight Runners' (KOFIC)
(Top) Song Kang Hon in 'A Taxi Driver' and Park Seo Joon (bottom left) in 'Midnight Runners' (KOFIC) KOFIC

South Korea's Oscar entry "A Taxi Driver" won Best Film and Park Seo Joon took home the Best New Actor award at the 54th Daejong Film Awards, held on October 25 in Seoul.

Also known as the Grand Bell Awards, the Daejong ceremony honoured outstanding Korean stars and films.

For the Best Film award, "A Taxi Driver," about a Korean taxi driver played by Song Kang Ho who takes a German TV journalist from Seoul to cover the uprising in Gwangju, edged over "The King," "Anarchist from Colony," "Pandora" and "The Merciless."

"I think this award to 'A Taxi Driver' is a consolation for the country's painful modern history and support for the role of the press," said Park Eun-kyung, head of the film studio The Lamp, as she accepted the award for the movie, which also won Best Planning.

It is the No. 1 bestselling film in Korea in 2017, selling 12.18 million tickets and earning US$85.22 million at the box office.

"Anarchist from Colony," starring Lee Je Hoon about independent activist Park Yeol, bagged five awards. Lee Joon Ik took home the best director award while Choi Hee Seo won the Best Actress and Best New Actress awards. The movie also grabbed best art direction and costume design.

The Jo In Sung and Jung Woo Sung starrer "The King" took home four trophies. Bae Sung Woo won Best Supporting Actor while Kim So Jin grabbed the Best Supporting Actress award. The movie also received Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

Seol Kyung Kyu won Best Actor for his role in "The Merciless" while the late actress Kim Young-ae was given a special award for her contribution.

Park Seo Joon took home the best new actor award for the comedy "Midnight Runners". He said, "this film was not mine alone but made together with director Kim Joo Han and the staff members. I feel sorry that I am accepting the award on their behalf and also grateful."

"I haven't thought of an award acceptance speech so I will say what I am currently thinking. This year, I am 30 years old in Korean age. I think it's a great age and a young age. These days, I think that Korean films have really advanced. The reason why I think that is because of the seniors sitting in front of me and because of the development of content, but also because of the audience who go to movie theaters. I will try my best to show an excellent performance," he said.