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[Movie 2012] 26 Years 26년


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Thanks to uploader of video of "Movie World"-   a few short scenes from "26 Years"which  I haven't seen before ... 19:12 to 22:45 and 24:59 to 27:33


Screencap of BSB :)

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Thanks to nocutV for this clip - Korean Box Office 14 Dec - 16 Dec 2012 - "26 Years" holding on to second place, behind "The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey".

Thanks to Kobis for the statistics as at 16 Dec 2012:
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Guest annieice


Actress Han Hye-jin and Browneyed Soul’s vocal Naul has officially announced that they have split after a long 9 years of dating. Their reason to part ways was due to their schedule conflicts. Hye-jin and Naul were so busy that they didn’t time to meet up even ONCE a month!

Still…it’s hard to believe that these two won’t end up together as Naul expressed his desire to get married sometime this year or next and he even attended Hye-jin’s father’s funeral to pay his respects.

poor girl, she really had a rough year :(

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annieice, as you say, it has been a very sad end to the year for Han Hye Jin.  Hope that the relative success of "26 Years" will bring her some consolation.
"26 Years"  has fallen to 8th place at the Korean Box Office, no thanks to the entrance of Hollywood blockbusters like "Les Miserables", and to the reduction in number of screens.  Let's hope "26 Years" manages to reach three million admissions.



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Merry and Blessed Christmas to you 26 Years fans who celebrate Christmas! Happy holidays to those who are of other faiths!A grace filled 2013 too - hopefully with 26 Years being screened outside Korea!!!
Here are greetings from our favourite cast too! ^^

greetings from the 26 Years cast!! ^^

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wmpc, many thanks for posting the greetings from the 26 Years cast.  The number of screenings of the movie has been reduced quite drastically and therefore three million admissions, though still reachable, will most likely not be reached this week.


Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2013!

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December 26, 2012
"26 Years" Voted the Best Korean Film of 2012
Reporter : Kim Nemo KSTAR10 4e732ced3463d06de0ca9a15b6153677.jpgPoster of "26 Years", voted the Best Korean film of 2012 by Twitterians. [Chungeorahm Film]
Korean revenge thriller "26 Years" has been chosen as the best Korean film of the year by Twitterians.
The Korean Film Council announced the film has been voted the best Korean film at a special voting event for December.
The runner-up was the romance "Architecture 101" with  Lee Byeong-heon starrer "Masquerade" taking the third spot. 
Political drama based on actual events, "National Security" took the fourth place while number five was "Nameless Gangster: Rule of the Time". 
At number six was "Pieta" with the seventh place going to the romantic comedy "All About My Wife.
"A Werewolf Boy" starring Song Joong-ki was number eight and two films, "Two Doors" and  "Two Weddings and a Funeral" were joing winners for the 9th place.
"26 Years" centers around the grieving familiy members of the victims of the Gwangju Massacre of 1980 who come together to avenge “the man” who gave the order to kill civilians. Directed by Cho Geun-hyun, it stars Jin Goo, Han Hye-jin, 2AM member Im Seulong, Bae Su-bin and veteran actor Lee Kyung-young.
The film has drawn a lot of media attention as it was made through a group funding project which invited regular cinemagoers to make financial contributions to the production budget. 
It has drawn 2,909,901 as of midday December 26, raising expectations that it will go over the 3 million mark.

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December 24, 2012

2012 Korean Films in a Nutshell

Source: Arirang Korea via hancinema.net

Well, Jiwon. Sounds like there's a lot of interesting films out there this Christmas season.

[Reporter : Park Ji-won] Yes, but not only for this Christmas season.
There have been a lot of interesting Korean movies all year long.
2012 was a record-breaking year, both in the number of total film ticket sales,. and Korean film ticket sales. 

According to the Korean Film Council, the total number of ticket sales, combining both Korean and foreign films, as of Monday, reached well over 186-million.
That's a 26 percent increase,.. compared to the year 2010.
However, the growth in the number of movie-goers was led mainly by the popularity of Korean films. 
Korean films accounted for less than 50 percent of overall ticket sales in 2010, but it was 60 percent this year.
Two Korean films in particular did very well.
The action-comedy "The Thieves", and the historical drama "Masquerade",. each sold over 10-million tickets, placing them as two of the top three biggest box office hits in Korean film history.
While 28 Korean films have sold over a million tickets this year, seven of the Korean films, like 'Architecture 101', and "A Werewolf Boy", have each attracted over four million viewers. And director Kim Ki-duk winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival also highlighted the strong performance of Korean films this year.

[Reporter : Ji-won] Well, as I was covering film-related news this year, I've seen most of the Korean films that drew millions of viewers, and they were all pretty good.
What was your favorite Korean film this year ~~

[Reporter : Ji-won] And one thing to keep in mind also is that film critics say they were pleased to see a more diverse genre of films attracting viewers, films like "Unbowed" or "26 Years", which are based on true events and have strong social messages.
It seems like that more and more Korean viewers not only watch films to entertain themselves, but also to learn more about society.

Thanks Jiwon, for the special coverage on films today. And, we'll be seeing you all throughout this week.

[Reporter : ] Sure, see you tomorrow.

Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

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rubie, many thanks for posting the two articles.  I really hope that the movie can reach 3 million viewers, although it will be very difficult because of the drastically reduced number of screens and screening times.
This was tweeted yesterday by the movie's Official Twitter:
Prayer ceremony several months ago, before filming began:

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Interesting interview with the producer of "26 Years" many thanks to KOBIZ for the article:

  • 26 YEARS Producer CHOI Yong-bae
  • by SONG Ji-hwan /  Dec 28, 2012
  • THE HOST 2 Scenario Coming Up Soon  hmBRgGHwIjRWGHzrtPCw.jpgMet with CHOI Yong-bae on 3rd week of December, when 3 million audience was assured. After much meandering, he told us about the production of 26 Years. He also said about the meaning and sense of duty the movie has within and brought up the story that people around the world have been wanting to hear, The Host 2- When did you decide to make the web-toon ‘26 Years’ into a movie?
    In April, 2006. When the post production of The Hostalmost finished, as BONG Joon-ho was doing a great job on completing the film. I started reading the web-toon ‘26 Years’. I felt sorry and sad to see the main characters that lost their parents in Gwangju in year 1980. I empathized with the victims and felt anger towards the inflictor. It was more attractive than former movies about 5.18. I went to see KANG Full and hear about the rest of the stories. It was not about what happened in the past but rather about current situation 26 years later from then. KANG Full about astonished by that person’s lie about having only 290,000 won. and wanted to tell the young generation that can’t tell the difference between 8.15 and 5.18. And I felt the same way, wanted to make it into a movie and tell the world and that how we made agreement right after the release of The Host in July that year.    AYBdIUajdpHTmCNPdocx.jpg
    - Meanwhile, the director and many of the actors have changed.

    The dramatization writer and director have been changed to LEE Hae-young. He’s good at directing and working on scenarios and the dramatization of the original work was not easy. RYOO Seung-bum,KIM A-joongJIN Goo, HAN Sang-jin, CHUN Ho-jinBYUN Hee-bong were casted. Everything was ready right before the shooting in 2008. But the main investor suddenly backed out. He came over and told us that he might get fired so the invest can no longer be continued. I coincidentally met him this year and hear about the behind story. Back then, the president of the investor company had been called in to Blue House and was told to stop investing on 26 Years and the rest of the investors eventually backed out as well. We tried several times after but it wasn’t successful. and years passed. Last autumn, when the mayor of Seoul changed, the investors said they wanted to reinvest on the movie. However in March this year, there was a situation where we could not continue with the movie. There was no money. If the situation continued, there was a sense of crisis that 26 years could not be completed. The right of the original piece had been agreed between the producer and the original writer but if the production was to stop because of the external pressure, it will leave a very mad image for the movie. There were a lot of people that wanted to see the movie 26 Years at that time. There even was a campaign urging for the production of the film. The citizens wanted to complete the movie themselves. And we wanted a final discussion with them. Met with KANG Full and mutually understood to gather up money from the citizens. We believed this could be the driving force. we tried the cloud funding and the target was 1 billion won. By the end of May, 9000 people participated and 380 million won was gathered. It was a failure. but meanwhile, individual investors came along and gave hope that it could be made. Singer LEE Seung-hwan offered to give help and some others were willing to give a large amount of their money. It all started again like that. It was some what a responsibility and as a moviemaker, didn’t want to leave a  blot. More like, I didn’t want to give in to those who forced the movie not to be made. GdNyNuOsPCdJPjAhcDbp.jpg- You should feel a sense of accomplishment.
    Everything was from smoke into smother. At the beginning there was only 30% of the production cost. I was afraid and anxious. At the later half of the filming, choosing a distributor was a problem. It was rejected by all the large distributors. It was risky but was solved somehow. Fortunately on the first and second week of the release, it placed first on the box office but we could not secure many theaters. There were too much disadvantage against Small and medium distributors. The seat occupancy was very high and tickets were sold out ever since the day of release. But overall, it was not a fair game compared to the films from large distribution companies. - How was working with CHO Geun-hyun the former art director?
    He did not join because he wanted to do such kind of movie and he used to be a staff. So unlike other directors, the attribute of a writer was comparably little. An art directors needs to listen to the director, lead the team and adjust to the environment. It has to be in his constitution. That’s why it was easy and what should be accomplished and what should be abandoned was not the issue. CHO Geun-hyun had been the art director for 26 Years all along even when the producer changed. That’s why he had a lot of understanding. - The attraction power of the animation in the beginning of the film was great.
    It was work done by OH Sung-yoon of Leafie, a Hen into the Wild. This part has to be most adorned part from LEE Hae-young’s script. LEE Hae-young did a good job in compressing the past of the main characters. The animated part was also the reason for it being PG-15. There are children that really went through the slaughter and in Korea’s reality, this kind of children do exist. This is why we came to decide that ‘this kind of situation should be seen and bear with the shock’. Didn’t mean to go too far. - There must have been some impressive reaction from the audience.
    There were a lot of people that said “this really happened? didn’t know” and “cried really hard” “want to go to Gwangju someday” and “Than you for making such movie.” What most comforted me was when I heard “Enough just to have made this film.” - What’s your plan on submitting the film to international film festival?
    I’ve gotten calls from Europe and we’ve just finished with English subtitle. We weren’t able to check everything in detail because of the tight schedule. We have submitted to one festival and plan to upload through kobiz online screening service.  tIzicNuACQGBGInMsNfC.jpg
    - Curious about the next film The Host 2.
    There is an extremely high curiosity toward The Host 2 from abroad. The overseas buyers were able to make a lot of profit from The Host. This is why we get a lot calls. It will be completed after choosing PARK Myung-chun as the director and work on CG with domestic technology. For The Host, 3.6 billion dollars was used for 120 CG shots. It a lot of money. The film was meaningful at that time for it being the very first creature movie in Korea. From the monster, we were able to show and symbolize social irregularities very well but lacked the work and importance of the monster itself. As a creature movie, there needs to be a visually sensed actions. It felt quite impossible to work on this visual effect with overseas partners. So I went looking for Korean companies. And PARK Myung-chun and the company came out with 2 clips of 2 min. It was shown in many film festivals. And from then, they’ve found outThe Host 2 was being made and have been calling ever since. The scenario being written by YIM Pil-sung will be done by the end of DEC. The outlook of the monster is very similar to the first one but will little changes. On the first movie, there only was one monster but now there are two with different size. This films is planned to be released in March 2014. atQIPFEwUoRghKzBErad.jpg- What’s your plan for next year?
    I’ve been preparing something. KANG Full’s web-toon ‘Every Moment of yours’. It’s about the end of the world. There have been a lot of new viruses that threatened people into fear for the last 10 years. SARS, avian influenza, novel swine-origin influenza A, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. It is about these phenomena really happening. Disaster and end of the world and zombie. It was a big hit as web-toon. I am now working on The Host 2 and this in detail and one or two more. This year seems to be the revival of Korean films. There were different kind of movies with great quality. I’ve heard that Korean movies were more fun to watch. This needs to be continued in order for producers to try brave things. This is the progress of movies and this year has been so and hope next year will be too. Even if there aren’t much exports of Korean films if this phenomenon continues 2-3 years, overseas markets will open up to us. The amount of Korean film exports is directly proportional to the energy of Korean film industry. Photo KIM Jin-woong
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annieice, many thanks for the two pics. Congrats to Han Hye Jin on her win! She looks so gorgeous in the first pic.
Many thanks to the excellent 2AM fan site (credit MellowOng) for these pics of Jin Goo, Im Seulong and Bae Soo Bin in the Dec 2012 issue of Vogue Korea.


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A critical look at "26 Years" by Mr X - 
class="entry-title" style="color: rgb(238, 238, 238); margin: 0px 0px 0.75em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-weight: normal; font-size: 2em; font-family: Georgia, serif; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: rgb(17, 17, 17);"CHUNGMURO REVIEWS] 26년 (26 Years)


When and if used well, anger can become the leading force of great cinema.

It’s a complicated process, though – perhaps more so than many debut directors approaching this medium would want to believe. Complicated because you have to distance yourself from your own anger (or the ulterior motives hiding behind it) to actually be able to tell a compelling story. 살인의추억 (Memories of Murder), still one of the greatest accomplishments in Korean cinema history, is filled to the brim with that sentiment. But more than an overwhelming explosion of angst, what you find is rather a sneaking sensation expertly dancing along Bong Joon-Ho’s ingenious harmony of black comedy, police procedural tropes and enough quirky, brilliant historical details to illuminate your brain with a thousand thoughts. The same goes with 괴물 (The Host), although the offending party changes from a domestic to a (in oh-so-many ways) foreign one.

It’s a bit like politics, really: demagogy and populism can satiate the vengeful ire of the masses for a while, but then the emotional void left by the “sublimation” of those ultimately ineffectual mantras is all for the exploited to deal with. Park Chan-Wook made a pretty good career out of turning the emptiness of revenge into lyrically violent strokes of genius, and back in the day people like Jang Sun-Woo and Park Gwang-Soo transposed the fury of a democratization movement that could finally speak about the wounds of the past to the big screen with great verve. These people might have even been exploiting anger that deep down wasn’t theirs, at the end of the day. But it still wouldn’t matter, because the honesty with which they went through that process of distancing themselves from the visceral sentiments that populated their works vindicated their intents.

The Gwangju Massacre (or the Democratization Movement, if you prefer the all-too-politically-correct official nomenclature) has over the years become amongst Korea’s favorite go-to guys when it comes to cinematic anger and guilt trips. It almost single-handedly established a channel like SBS in 1995’s 모래시계 (The Sandglass), dominated Jang Sun-Woo’s memorable 꽃잎 (A Petal)in a subtle but disarmingly powerful way a year later, and continued animating the imagination of film and TV producers to this day – 5공화국 (The Fifth Republic) and particularly 화려한 휴가(May 18) showing how this tendency to pay homage or commenting on this national tragedy might have ultimately degenerated from social commentary to mere commodification.

But dealing with Gwangju (or that period and its social and cultural ramifications at large) so close to an election that could have changed the fortunes of the country for quite some time (and you’ll understand how surreal writing a review of this film after all is said and done will feel) is indeed a little peculiar – as is the aggressive zeal with which a certain political sphere in Chungmuro assaulted theaters. From openly partisan but accomplished documentaries like MB 추억(Remembrance of MB) and 유신의 추억 – 다카키마사오의 전성시대 (Strongman Memories – The Golden Age of Takaki Masao) to films like 남영동 1985 (National Security), the last few months before the presidential race came to a record-breaking end with slim pickings, at least for what concerned their intake at the box office. Of course they were all very admirable works – particularly Jung Ji-Young’s majestic tour-de-force. But particularly in the two documentaries’ case, you’d often feel that the ulterior motive (that of preventing some of “the same people” from taking over the Blue House) was a lot stronger than the subjects themselves. And as great as National Security is, it would be foolish to suggest that its politically-charged j’accuse against this country’s wretched past didn’t have other goals other than the noble intents which populate its narrative.

26년 (26 Years) undoubtedly changed the cards.

I’ve already talked of its countless tribulations – and the sinister way in which its first (much more technically ambitious) rendition was tossed back to development hell just days before the shoot began. I’ve also mentioned the tremendously fascinating way its makers managed to finally bring this project to fruition, namely through the help of thousands of netizens (through a Kickstarter-like campaign online), and of the controversy surrounding its release. But at the end of the day, even if I agree with Korean critic Heo Ji-Woong that the film was rushed to an early release just to take advantage of the electoral campaign, I’m not entirely sure the producers’ intent was that of commodifying Gwangju’s tragedy to make a dirty buck – that would be what May 18 was guilty of, if you ask me. Not that I would care, either. As I said, even if your true intentions do not coincide with those that transpire from your work, it’s the detachment that counts. That “passionate objectivity” that puts everything in a different, much more mature and compelling light.

What’s problematic is rather this atmosphere – the clouds of raging populism surrounding this film, assuming similar semblances to those that characterized 디워 (D-War)’s apologists — whereby we should be kind to the film and abandon all critical discourse because it’s a pioneer of direct cinematic democracy – in the sense that the people made an effort to essentially greenlight what certain investors didn’t want to support (for whatever reason). It’s a bit like the delusional attitude certain trendy drama fans exhibit towards certain shows, defending their inherent flaws as if they were an integral part of the proceedings (instead of chastising those same dramas for bastardizing the very genre they purported to support and have a predilection for). In the case of people who actually funded this project out of their own pockets, it’s an even more ill-advised argument, considering that you’d at least want to get some bang for your buck. Which hopefully should involve the quality of “your” film.

I went back and read Kang Full’s original webtoon from 2006 a few weeks ago, to anticipate this review. I can’t guarantee I approached this second viewing (first was a few months after the series began) completely detached from all the controversy which surrounded this film, but I do admit it hasn’t aged too well. Perhaps I am to blame, as my tastes might have matured in the last six years. But while it still features the same familiar tropes of Kang’s narrative (with several disparate characters eventually all coming together into a unified thematic trajectory), its rather trashy and sophomoric dialogue and characterization stood out even more than it did back then – not to mention the visual blemishes of Kang’s style. It felt a bit like the manga equivalent of a Kang Woo-Suk film: in theory a somewhat entertaining “pulp” experience, but almost insufferably superficial, even crass at times.

Director Jo Geun-Hyun was an interesting choice for a debut, because he was actually a very accomplished art director in his “past life” – essaying some seminal works like 형사 Duelist and 장화홍련 (A Tale of Two Sisters). And, sure enough, production design and art direction are two very strong points (or at least much stronger than anything else in the film) of 26 Years. The problem, it pains me to say, is everything else. Everything.

Take the idea of introducing the story via a very suggestive animation. Instead of an extension of the webtoon, this feels more like a cheap expedient not to spend money on actually recreating the Gwangju Massacre. What’s worse, instead of being suggestive – like the animated sequences in the similarly themed A Petal – it’s only exploitative, excessively pounding on the blood and gore enough to seem like the most egregious of grindhouse flicks. Someone gets hit by a single bullet and here she is, holding her entrails as they gush out in graphic (but nondescript, given the quality of the animation) detail. And for what purpose, highlighting the horror of the victim’s survivors? The point is the survivor’s sorrow, not how much blood and guts was spilled at the altar of Jeon Du-Hwan’s executioners. That’s when distancing yourself from your anger can be helpful.

It’s what derails this film, really. There is no restraint here, not even a crescendo of emotions culminating in that final dénouement. It’s just a succession of grotesquely stereotyped characters (both the protagonists and “that guy” they target) the narrative never bothers to give a soul to – the consequence being that we’re witnessing empty puppets prance about consumed by their puppeteers’ anger. It’s very disconcerting, because there were some fine performers like Lee Gyeong-Young, Bae Soo-Bin and Jin Gu in the cast. As it is, their acting is paint-by-numbers, trapped inside a glass ceiling that will never let them out — forced as they are to act out vacuous caricatures that would work in the one-dimensional world of webtoons, but cannot make the transition to our three-dimensional world. And of course the rush job doesn’t help. Editing is especially clumsy, making the unconvincing narrative feel even more disjointed, not to mention robbing all the suspense from the rare few moments that could exhibit some.

I suppose the fact that this film was a rousing success vindicated its makers’ ploy – as ill-advised and ethically dishonest as it might have been. But three million people rushing to the theater is a curious way of releasing one’s pent-up anger at powers-that-be that still refuse to ask for forgiveness for their past actions, particularly when just weeks ago they had the chance to release it in a much more constructive way – and prove a point. It all reeks of something similar to that hypocritical City Slicker syndrome which drove hordes of people to watch sanctimonious urbanite guilt trips like 집으로… (The Way Home) and 워낭소리 (Old Partner) – while at the same time ignoring the plight of their fellow rural Koreans whenever they get the chance.

In that sense, 추적자 (The Chaser) gave a much healthier response, coloring its heroes and villains in shades of grey, and telling people that anger alone will not change a thing. Watching badly concocted and morally dubious (because, at the end of the day, we’re pretty much advocating  people taking matters into their own hands here – like only lowbrow populists would) pulp fiction might fill your heart with catharsis, but it doesn’t punish anyone. Paying out of your pockets to support hackneyed cinematic fare that is only sustained by demagogic, superficial vitriol won’t get the bald grandpa to regret his vile misdeeds, either. Going out there and struggling to show him there’s a better world where people like him are no longer needed (or wanted) might be the answer. And hopefully it won’t take another 26 years for that…


26년 (26 YEARS)

A Chungeorahm Films Production
Distributed by: Invent Stone Corp., Chungeorahm Films
135 Minutes, Rated 15 and Over
Shooting Period: 2012-07-19 ~ 2012-10-10
Release: 2012-11-29
Budget (Won): 6.6 Billion (0.7 through crowdfunding)
Break Even Point (Admissions): 2.0 Million
Total Admissions: 2,949,259
Seoul Admissions: 813,672 (27.6%)
Maximum Screens: 611
Total Revenue (Won): 21,174,488,145
Official Website

DIRECTOR: 조근현 (Jo Geun-Hyun)
WRITER: 이해영 (Lee Hae-Young)
CINEMATOGRAPHY: 김태경 (Kim Tae-Gyeong)
MUSIC: 김홍집 (Kim Hong-Jib)

  • 진구 (Jin Gu) as Kwak Jin-Bae
  • 한혜진 (Han Hye-Jin) as Shim Mi-Jin
  • 임슬옹 (Im Seul-Ong) as Kwon Jung-Hyuk
  • 배수빈 (Bae Soo-Bin) as Kim Ju-An
  • 이경영 (Lee Gyeong-Young) as Kim Gap-Se
  • 장광 (Jang Gwang) as That Guy
  • 조덕제 (Jo Deok-Je) as Ma Sang-Ryeol
  • 김의성 (Kim Eui-Seong) as Chief Choi
  • 안석환 (Ahn Seok-Hwan) as Ahn Su-Ho


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Producer of Film '26 Years' Named Film Professional of the Year

Write 2013-01-21 16:18:59   Update 2013-01-21 17:41:37

Producer of Film '26 Years' Named Film Professional of the YearHead of domestic production company Chungeoram Film, Choi Yong-bae, has been named film professional of the year. 

The Korea Film Reporters Association (KOFRA) said on Monday that reporters voted for Choi to receive the honor in a special award category of the 4th KOFRA awards. 

Choi was recognized for producing “26 Years” last year, a movie based on cartoonist Kang Full’s webcomic about the May 18th democratic uprising in Gwangju in 1980. The film drew about three million viewers.

Congratulations to "26 Years" producer Choi Yong Bae!
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January 21, 2013
'26 Years' producer wins special award
By Claire Lee The Korea Herald
20130121000926_0.jpgChoi Yong-bae
Film producer Choi Yong-bae, who was in charge of last year’s highly political film “26 Years,” is receiving a special honor from the Korea Film Reporters Association (KOFRA).
Choi has been selected as the “Person of the Year 2012” in the local film industry, for his film “26 Years,” whose production cost was paid by online crowdfunding. 
The film tells the story about five ordinary people who get together to draw up a plan to assassinate the former president Chun Doo-hwan, for the massacre of innocent civilians while crushing a pro-democracy movement in May 1980.
The film’s initial pitches had been turned down by investors for three to four years, mostly due to its politically sensitive content. After facing a number of challenges, the film debuted at the top of the box office on Nov. 29. It drew almost 3 million viewers in total, no small achievement for a small-budget film.
The award ceremony will be held on Jan. 30 at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul. 

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