By Chung Ah-young
Actor Kim Myung-min
won the top prize at the 2008 Korea Drama Festival for his role as Maestro Kang (affectionately called "Kang Mae") in the hit drama "Beethoven Virus
The Korea Drama Awards opened the five-day festival, which kicked off Saturday in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province.
The festival is a joint collaboration among major broadcasters KBS, SBS and MBC and various cable TV stations in Korea.
A total of 120 dramas had been reviewed, all of which were aired between Oct. 1 in 2007 and Sept. 30 this year.
Kim's character is talented but choosy in Beethoven Virus
, the first drama of its kind, which depicts the lives of classical musicians, an orchestra and ordinary people who dream of becoming musicians.
The Best Drama award went to KBS's "Mom's Dead Upset
" while Choi Soo-jong
of "Dae Jo Yeong
", an epic drama, and Kim Ha-neul
, who played a picky actress in "On Air"
, won the Best Actor and Best Actress award, respectively.
A new hallyu award was given to actor Bae Yong-joon
(better known as Yonsama), who didn't appear at the ceremony.
There were also awards for Netizen Popularity, which went to Yoona
, a member of Girls' Generation
) for her role in the daily drama "You're My Destiny", Kim Beom
for stealing the show in "East of Eden
", comedienne Kim Hyun-sook
of tvN's hit cable series "Rude Miss Young-ae Season 3", and Kim Hee-jung-II
for the popular and long-running "First Wives' Club
An individual contribution award was given to Baek Il-sub
of "Mom's Dead Upset
", as did a juror's special award go to Kim Hae-sook
of "First Wives' Club
About 20 Korean drama stars and major foreign broadcasters from six countries participated in a forum to seek ways to promote cooperation between countries to improve the production of dramas during the festival.
Under the theme of "The Past, Present and Future of Asian Dramas", the festival will continue, with various programs such as the "3rd Next Generation Actor Contest" Nov. 3, "3 People 3 Color Drama Concert" Nov. 4 and the closing ceremony featuring drama soundtracks display Nov. 5.
R&B ballad duo Fly To the Sky, singer and Shinhwa member Shin Hye-sung and boy band Super Junior graced the opening ceremony.
The festival began as the first to boost hallyu dramas in 2006 and gained international attention in 2007 on account of its growing reputation among drama producers and actors.