The organizing committee for the Daejong Film Awards issued a statement on Thursday, playing down controversy over this year's nominations.
The committee had been under heat since announcing its selections the previous day, particularly over its decision to drop actress Ha Ji-won who starred in two hit films this year but pick Jang Nara whose film is set for release October 29.
The statement started by addressing the debate over Jang's film, explaining that films submitted "must have completed production within the time frame set by the committee and must have been released or is waiting to, to be considered for nomination."
"Accordingly, 'Sky and Sea', which also completed filming within the required time frame, is also eligible for entry," the committee stated. The committee had stated it would look into films produced between May 1 last year and September 4 this year.
It went onto explain how actress Ha had not been nominated for Best Actress. "The awards does not base its judgement on an individual actor but the character the actor plays in the film and the votes may split if an actor starred in multiple films," an official was quoted as saying.
Ha had starred in both films this year -- summer blockbuster "Haeundae" which attracted nearly 11.4 million viewers to become the fourth most-watched film of all time and "Closer to Heaven" which topped the box office for three weeks and has grossed over 2 million viewers since opening in late September.
The committee ended its statement by saying it will carry start carrying out its final judging starting October 26 by a panel composed of both experts and the general public.
The awards, now into its 46th year, will take place November 6 at the Olympic Park in Seoul.
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