[SDA 2020][Press Release] 15th Seoul International Drama Awards Nominees Announced

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  • 2020-08-06
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15th Seoul International Drama Awards Nominees Announced

-          SDA Organizing Committee selects 4 keywords – Short-forms, Female, Diversity, K-Drama


Seoul, South Korea (August 6, 2020) – The Seoul International Drama Awards Organizing Committee (Chairman Sung-jae Park) announced the opening of SDA 2020 and unveiled the list of nominees including 28 dramas and 26 individual candidates on August 6.

Amongst the 212 dramas from 41 countries, 8 entries are nominated in each Program Category, including TV Movie, Mini-Series and Serial Drama, along with 4 from the Short-form category which was newly-established this year. The panel of judges also unveiled 7 nominees in the Individual Category of Best Director and 6 nominees for Best Screenwriter. Regarding the Best Actor and Best Actress, 6 actors and 7 actresses were nominated, respectively.

The organizing committee analyzed the list of candidates and selected 2020’s keywords that were relevant to the nominated dramas around the world this year as short but intense ‘Short-form contents’, ‘Unconventional female character’, ‘Diversity of dramas’ and ‘K-Drama’s rapid growth’.

KEYWORD1 - New type of content 'short-form' attracts younger generation

Short-form, which means a drama consisting of short half-hour episodes, was added to the award category for the first time this year. Short-form is a popular form of content among young people who are more accustomed to mobile devices than TV. This year, a total of 37 short-form dramas were submitted, and four of them, including <I Have 3 Boyfri3nds>, <Rumor>, <XX> and <18h30> were nominated.

KEYWORD2 - Unconventional female character who is active and challenging in leading the story draws attention

This year, female characters in dramas were outstanding. As a representative example, in the KBS mini-series <When the Camellia Blooms>, which was extremely popular last year, there were strong and independent female protagonists which could be seen through the main characters of Dongbaek and the people of Ongsan Village. This trend can also be seen in the German short drama <Ottilie von Faber-Castell>, which is based on a true story about Germany in the 19th century. In the male-dominated business world, the main character Ottilie depicts a leading female figure who exhausts herself to succeed in business and lead a family.

KEYWORD3 - 'Diverse stories' highlighting wide range of characters and topics

In addition, SDA’s 2020 nominees present diverse stories ranging from ones based on real-life to stories about family, war and refugees. Among the dramas based on true stories, <22 July> is set in the Norway Attacks in Oslo, and <Bolivar> is a romance story between the legendary Bolivar and Manuelita. Also, the Brazilian drama <Orphans of a Nation> tells the story of a Syrian refugee Lyla, Germany's <The Turncoat>, Spain's <Exodus> and U.K.'s <World on Fire> are dramas that are set during a war. Moreover, Germany's <Because You’re Mine> and <Grumpy Olaf>, Korean drama <Human Luwak>, and Taiwan's <My Father's Words> pictured stories about various different families.

KEYWORD4 - The number of Korean dramas that are nominated increased 4.5 times compared to last year…'The Rise of K-Drama'

The integrity of Korean dramas is also worth paying attention to. Of the 28 nominees for the Program Category last year, only 2 were Korean dramas. This year, the number of nominated Korean dramas increased to 9. In particular, the KBS mini-series <When the Camellia Blooms>, SBS mini-series <Hot Stove League>, tvN mini-series <Crash Landing on You>, and JTBC mini-series <Itaewon Class>, which were highly acclaimed for being well-made dramas this year, were all nominated and led to a competitive award ceremony.

US <Snowpiercer>, Philippines <Descendants of the Sun> are selected as The Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year, showing K-Content’s stature across the border

The organizing committee invited dramas from abroad that received love and attention from around the world throughout the year. Dramas based on Korean content were also selected, including <Snowpiercer> produced by U.S. broadcaster TNT and distributed by ITV Studios, and <Descendants of the Sun>, a remake of Philippine broadcaster GMA Network. Director Bong Joon-ho's <Snowpiercer>, which was remade as a drama with the same name, is an example of K-content's influence that extends beyond Asia into the U.S. market and was selected as The Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year with worldwide acclaim. The organizing committee also selected the Philippine version of <Descendants of the Sun> among several remakes that originated from the KBS drama <Descendants of the Sun> aired in South Korea in 2016, highlighting the influence of K-drama across borders. In addition to these 2 dramas, the mini-series <The New Pope>, co-produced by Sky Atlantic and HBO, and distributed internationally by Fremantle, was also invited. <The New Pope> is starring Jude Law, which depicted various social issues from the perspective of the pope.