Park Chan-wook's hard-hitting Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance has been named Korea's top film of the year in the annual Pusan Film Critics Awards.

The film, also honoured with a Best Director prize, will be presented with its awards on November 15 at the upcoming Pusan International Film Festival.

Other top honourees include actor Sol Kyung-gu for his role in Oscar contender Oasis and actress Bae Doona for her turn in festival favourite Take Care Of My Cat. Lee Jeong-hyang's The Way Home, scheduled for a North American release this month by Paramount Classics, was presented with a Jury Prize.

Now in its third year, the Pusan Film Critics Awards are gathering in stature in their native country, boosted by their association with Korea's most prominent film festival. Previous top awards were presented to Hur Jin-ho's One Fine Spring Day in 2001 and Hong Sang-soo's Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors in 2000.

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, the story of a man's revenge on his daughter's kidnappers, sparked controversy on its release in March due to its extreme violence. The film has screened at the Toronto and Sitges film festivals, and is included in the Korean Panorama section of this year's Pusan festival.

3rd Pusan Film Critics Awards

Best Film: Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance
Best Director: Park Chan-wook, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance
Best Actor: Sol Kyung-gu, Oasis
Best Actress: Bae Doona, Take Care Of My Cat
Jury Prize: The Way Home, dir. Lee Jeong-hyang
Best Screenplay: Lee Chang-dong, Oasis
Best Cinematography: Jung Il-sung, Chihwaseon
Lee Pil-woo Memorial Award: Kim Hyun, film editor
Best Supporting Actor: Gong Hyung-jin, A Perfect Match
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Yeo-jin, Chihwaseon
Best New Director: Kim In-sik, Road Movie
Best New Actor: Hwang Jeong-min, Road Movie
Best New Actress: Kim Hye-na, Flower Island