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25 films from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa to tempt festival directors in 2021




In a year when festivals will hope for the return of audiences, industry and some sense of normalcy, Screen rounds up key contenders vying for the attention of programmers out of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. (*denotes film previously appeared in Screen’s 2020 list)  





Anatomy Of Time (Thai-Fr-Neth-Sing)

Dir. Jakrawal Nilthamrong

Thai filmmaker Jakrawal’s Vanishing Point, a drama revolving around a horrific car crash, won Rotterdam’s Tiger Award in 2015. His second feature is a spiritual time-shifting drama following a woman from her carefree 20s in 1960s rural Thailand to present-day Bangkok as an older army general’s wife. This four-way co-production has secured Singapore’s IMDA Southeast Asian coproduction grant.  Thailand-based lead producers Mai Meksawan and Chatchai Chaiyon previously produced Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s Manta Ray, which won best film in Venice’s Horizons sidebar in 2018. 

Contact: Diversion 


Barbarian Invasion (HK, Malay, Phil)

Dir. Tan Chui Mui
Pioneering Malaysian New Wave director Tan Chui Mui appears in front of the camera in her latest film as a washed-up actress who goes through martial arts training for a comeback role while searching for her identity. The cast also includes Pete Teo (Ghost In The Shell) and Bront Palarae (Folklore). The film is produced by Malaysia’s Woo Ming Jin and Bianca Balbuena from the Philippines as part of B2B A Love Supreme, a six-title film project put together by Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and China’s Heaven Pictures. Tan made wave with her debut Love Conquers All, which received Busan New Currents Award and Rotterdam Tiger Award. 

Contact: HKIFF Collection 


Decision To Leave (S Kor)

Dir. Park Chan-wook

The Handmaiden director and Cannes regular is in production on his latest feature with an aim to wrap in March. The film stars Park Hae-il (The Host) as a detective drawn to a mysterious widow (Tang Wei) while investigating her husband’s death. Moho Film is producing with CJ Entertainment backing and distributing. 

Contact: CJ Entertainment 


Emergency Declaration (S Kor)

Dir. Han Jae-rim

The King director’s latest feature is a highly anticipated disaster film about the events surrounding an aeroplane that is forced to make an emergency landing following an unexpected disaster. Parasite star Song Kang-ho heads a cast that also includes Lee Byung-hun (The Man Standing Next) and Jeon Do-yeon (The Housemaid). 

Contact: Showbox sales@showbox.co.kr


Escape From Mogadishu * (S Kor)

Dir. Ryoo Seung-wan

Previously titled simply as Mogadishu, veteran director Ryoo’s highly anticipated action drama stars Kim Yoon-seok (1987: When The Day Comes), Zo In-sung (The Great Battle) and Huh Joon-ho (Default). Although North and South Korean embassy people have a history of diplomatic clashes in Africa, when civil war breaks out in Somalia’s capital, they are forced to cooperate to escape. In post-production, the film is aiming for theatrical release in the second half of 2021. 

Contact: Lotte Entertainment


Heaven: To The Land Of Happiness * (S Kor)




Dir. Im Sang-soo

This Cannes 2020 label film selected to The Faithful category is The Housemaid director’s latest. It has yet to be screened anywhere and the big question is whether it could still find a physical festival berth this year. With a release date still up in the air because of the pandemic, Im is continuing to work on post-production on the film. The humorous drama about two terminally ill men stars Choi Min-sik (Old Boy) and Park Hae-il (The Host). 

Contact: Finecut


Hostage: Missing Celebrity (S Kor)

Dir. Pil Gam-sung

Hwang Jung-min (Veteran) stars in this thriller about a movie star who is abducted and realises through his kidnappers’ extreme brutality that they are not the pranksters he initially thought. As the ransom deadline approaches, he looks to escape. Produced by Filmmaker R&K (Veteran), Hostage is Pil’s feature debut. 

Contact: Contents Panda 


Memoria (Thai-Mex-UK-Ger-Ch)

Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Weerasethakul’s first major feature outside of Thailand, Memoria shot in Colombia in the second half of 2019 but post-production was halted in 2020 due to the pandemic. Weerasethakul reunites long-time with collaborator Tilda Swinton who plays a woman who travels to Colombia where the unfamiliar sights and sounds send her on an inner journey. Other cast members including French actress Jeanne Balibar and Argentine actor Daniel Gimenez Cacho. The director’s long-time sales agent Match Factory – which also handled his Palme D’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – is promising a 2021 launch. 

Contact: Match Factory 


The Point Men (S Kor)

Dir. Yim Soon-rye

Based on real-life events around a Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan, Yim’s drama stars Hwang Jung-min (The Spy Gone North) as a highly skilled South Korean diplomat sent to negotiate with the Taliban. When talks falter, he teams up with a special agent played by Hyun Bin (Late Autumn). Megabox Plus M is targeting this as a major 2021 release locally. 

Contact: Megabox Plus M 



Servando Magdamag (Phil)

Dir. Lav Diaz
Following collaborations on Berlinale Silver Bear winner A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery and Venice Golden Lion The Woman Who Left, the Filipino auteur reunites with his leading man John Lloyd Cruz in a new social-political drama. Shot in Diaz’s signature black and white, the film stars Cruz as the son of a feudal family who has to confront the grim realities of his identity. The script is adapted by Ricky Lee from his own award-winning short story. 

Contact: ABS-CBN Films, Pia Bacungan-Laurel 


The Story Of Southern Islet (Malay)

Dir. Chong Keat Aun

Chong won multiple awards including best new director at Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards in 2020 for this film. Set in a Malaysian village near the Thai border, it follows a woman as she seeks a cure for her husband when he falls mysteriously ill, eventually turning to a shaman. The picture ran into hot water with censors back home for its exploration of traditional supernatural beliefs, but escaped major cuts. 

Contact: Lim Hui Bee, Asteri Production  


Terrorizers (Malay-Tai-Fr)

Dir. Ho Wi-ding

Following Cities Of Last Things, which won the top prize in Toronto’s Platform section in 2018, Taiwan-based Malaysian director Ho pays homage to Edward Yang’s 1986 drama The Terrorizers. The film is set in a pre-Covid Taipei, where a group of disenchanted souls are lost in a parallel virtual world. The film is backed by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and produced by Ho’s regular collaborator Sunny Hu of Taipei-based Changhe Films. The cast includes popular young actors Austin Lin (IWeirDo) and JC Lin (The Scoundrels) and respected actress Ding Ning, who won Golden Horse for best supporting actress for her performance in Cities Of Last Things. 

Contact: Changhe Films 


White Building (Camb)

Dir. Kavich Neang

The debut feature of Cambodia’s Neang builds on his award-winning 2019 documentary Last Night I Saw You Smiling exploring the 2017 demolition of Phnom Penh’s iconic White Building house project where he grew up. Here, the filmmaker transposes these experiences into a drama about a teenager who believes part of his memory will be destroyed when his childhood home is razed to the ground. The film was recently showcased in the Coming Soon pitching event of the TorinoFilmLab (TFL) in December, where it won one of the €45,000 TFL Audience Design Fund Awards. 

Contact: Anti-Archive 


Taste (Viet, Sing, Fr, Thai, Ger)

Dir. Le Bao

Self-taught Vietnamese director Le Bao made his mark with shorts Coal and Scent, set against the rarely filmed backdrops of the slums of Saigon where he grew up. His debut feature revolves around a Nigerian footballer in Vietnam who heads to an abandoned house with four female acquaintances for three days of communal living after his sporting ambitions are cut short by a broken leg. 

Contact:  Antoine Guilhem, Wild Bunch International 


Yuni (Indonesia-Sing-Fr)

Dir. Kamila Andini

A teenager sees her dreams of attending university under threat following a marriage proposal in Kamila’s fourth feature. The filmmaker’s debut The Mirror Never Lies travelled to more than 30 festivals, while her second film The Seen And The Unseen won multiple festival awards including the grand prix international jury prize of the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus in 2018. This new film is a three-way co-production backed by Singapore’s IMDA Southeast Asian co-production grant and France’s CNC and produced by her husband Ifa Isfansyah and Singapore-based Fran Borgia, whose credits include Locarno 2018 Golden Leopard winner A Land Imagined. 

Contact: Sebastien Chesneau, Cercamon 




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Source: CINE21 NO.1072 2016-09-20 ~ 2016-09-27

https://zapzee.net/2020/07/29/deliver-us-from-evil-hwang-jung-min-says-he-wanted-to-make-a-movie-that-audience-could-enjoy/ ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ Hwang Jung Min Says He Wanted to Make a Movie that Au

Actor Lee Jung-jae sent actor Hwang Jung-min a coffee truck to the filming location of drama “HUSH”.    

The 41st Blue Dragon Film Awards on Feb 9, 2021 (Chosun)


‘Deliver Us from Evil’ Hwang Jung-min & Park Jung-min








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  • Helena changed the title to Hwang Jung-Min 황정민


Silver screen stars rush to small screen amid protracted pandemic


SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- As the protracted novel coronavirus pandemic has affected the South Korean film industry and accelerated a platform shift throughout, big-name movie stars and filmmakers are wading into the small screen.


Choi Min-sik, who gained international fame for the Cannes-winning thriller "Oldboy" (2003), will star in a TV series titled "Casino," whose detailed cast and production schedule have not yet been revealed.  It is Choi's first TV project in 24 years since his last soap opera "Love and Separation" in 1997, while director Kang Yoon-sung will also make his small screen debut after creating the hit crime action film "The Outlaws" (2017).  Choi is one of the most successful silver screen stars in South Korea, having a number of box office hits under his belt, including "The Admiral: Roaring Currents," which attracted a record 17.6 million moviegoers.



Actor Choi Min-sik in a file photo provided by Lotte Entertainment (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


Jeon Do-yeon, who won the best actress prize at the 2007 Cannes film festival for her performance in the drama film "Secret Sunshine," will also return to the K-drama scene after five years following "The Good Wife" in 2016.  She will take a lead role in the upcoming drama "Disqualified as a Human" to be aired in the second half of this year on JTBC.  It is also the first TV project of director Hur Jin-ho, who is famous for melodrama films like "One Fine Spring Day" (2001) and "Christmas in August" (1998).



Actress Jeon Do-yeon in a photo provided by Management Soop (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


Prolific actor Ha Jung-woo will go on a rare outing to the small screen in 14 years with the Netflix original "Surinam," along with Hwang Jung-min, who recently wrapped up his TV project "Hush." Ha's last TV show was the crime drama "H.I.T" in 2007.  Renowned filmmaker Yoon Jong-bin, who directed "The Spy Gone North" (2018) and "Kundo: Age of the Rampant" (2014), will be in charge of the six-episode blockbuster project.


Rising silver screen stars Yoo Ah-in and Park Jung-min have teamed up with "Train to Busan" (2016) director Yeon Sang-ho for the Netflix-funded series "Hellbound," expected to be released later this year.


Actress Jeon Jong-seo, who made an impressive debut with Lee Chang-dong's "Burning" (2018), will take a role in the Korean adaptation of the Spanish Netflix original "Money Heist."




This photo provided by My Company shows actress Jeon Jong-seo. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


This year's unprecedented rush of movie stars and film directors came as the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has hit the film industry throughout 2020. Releases of numerous films have been put off, and productions of big-budget projects have been suspended.


At the same time, the changing landscape of the media industry has been easing the barrier between the big and small screens, stemming from the emergence of new platforms like Netflix.


The production value and scope of television have been rising thanks to the fierce competition in the streaming industry led by Netflix, which has been increasing investment into the Korean show business.


Many star actors also found it better to expose themselves to viewers around the world by appearing in a popular Netflix series than in a film available only in Korea, according to industry experts.








Celebs to return to small screen this year


By Nam Ji-eun, staff reporter | Feb.17, 2021


As the Korean film industry shrinks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, big-name stars and directors turn to TV dramas


“Stars are coming!” The line is a parody of “Tiger Is Coming,” the song by Leenalchi that became a viral hit online.  The line is also a prophecy, and one that fans of Korean drama are likely to hum throughout the year. In fact, quite a few movie stars are coming to television screens.  Both those who have juggled films and dramas and those who have focused on cinema have opted to star in dramas this year. Their decisions seem to be motivated both by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and by the growth of video streaming services.


Choi Min-sik, Ha Jung-woo, Koo Kyo-hwan and Jeon Jong-seo set to grace the small screen


The question is how well these actors’ cinematic star power will translate on the small screen.


Choi Min-sik, an actor who regularly draws huge audiences to Korean theaters, will appear in his first drama in 24 years. “Casino,” set in the titular gambling establishment, tells the story of a man who’s had his share of ups and downs. (The channel that will broadcast the show hasn’t been announced yet.). As it happens, Choi cut his teeth on television dramas. He first got noticed in the 1990 drama “Ambitious Times” and rose to stardom in “The Moon of Seoul” (1994). But he has focused on films since shooting his last drama “Love and Parting” (1997).  So why is Choi returning to dramas? “For a while now I’ve been craving a show with a good theme and good material that I could take my time on,” he explained.


Ha Jung-woo and Hwang Jung-min will be starring in “Suriname,” on Netflix. The last drama Ha appeared in was “Hit” on MBC, 14 years ago. The show is based on the true story of a Korean who becomes a drug lord in the South American country of Suriname.


Drama watchers will also be getting their first taste of two actors thought to represent the future of the Korean film industry: Jeon Jong-seo and Koo Kyo-hwan.  Jeon Jong-seo was catapulted to fame when she played the lead in “Burning,” a 2018 film by Lee Chang-dong.  Koo Kyo-hwan debuted in the short film “Boys” (2008), but he made a big splash with his memorable performance in last year’s film “Peninsula.”  Jeon will be appearing in a Korean remake of “Money Heist” (original Spanish title: “La casa de papel”), an original Netflix drama made in Spain. In the drama, a brilliant strategist and a team of thieves with unique skills stage a heist, leading to an unprecedented hostage situation.  Koo will star in “D.P.,” an original Netflix drama adapted from a webtoon by Kim Bo-tong. He plays a private in the military police who joins a team charged with arresting a deserter, but soon finds himself in a confusing situation. The original webtoon created a stir with its realistic depiction of brutality and human rights issues in the military.


Jun Ji-hyun, Song Hye-kyo, Go Hyun-jung and Lee Jung-jae are among the stars returning from hiatus


A surprising number of stars who’d straddled the fence between the silver and small screens, or who’d been taking some time off, are rushing into TV productions.  Song Hye-kyo will be starring in “The Glory” (channel TBD), her first TV series in the three years since “Encounter” (2018). This is also the first revenge drama by screenwriter Kim Eun-sook, who typically writes romantic comedies. In the series, Song plays a teacher who’s plotting revenge for the violence she suffered at school.  Jeon Do-yeon will be appearing on the JTBC show “Disqualified from Being Human,” alongside Ryu Jun-yeol.  Lee Jung-jae will be returning to the small screen with “Round Six,” a Netflix show about a game with 45.6 billion won (US$41.17 million) in prize money, while Go Hyun-jung will make her return with “Someone Like You,” on JTBC.  Jun Ji-hyun will appear on tvN in the mystery series “Cliffhanger,” written by Kim Eun-hee and produced by Lee Eung-bok. This will be Jun’s first TV show in the five years since “Legend of the Blue Sea” (2016). She plays a park ranger who rescues people in distress on Mount Jiri.  Song Joong-ki stars in “Vincenzo,” a series that kicks off on Feb. 20 on tvN, as the eponymous lawyer for the Italian mafia who comes to Korea to betray his organization.


What’s bringing big-ticket stars and directors to TV dramas?


It’s unusual for so many big-name stars to appear in television series at the same time. Industry sources say the biggest reason is that Korea’s film industry has shrunk.  The industry took a big hit following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year. Many films’ release dates had to be pushed back, and as countries closed their doors, production was halted on films that were supposed to be shot overseas.


Another appealing factor for big stars is a transformation of the television production process. Streaming services typically film episodes well in advance and have heftier budgets.  The number one reason that big-name stars have shied away from TV dramas is because of the just-in-time shooting schedule of shows that often felt like live broadcasts.  But more recently, deep-pocketed producers such as Netflix have started shooting episodes with more time to spare. That has led to high-quality television dramas that could give some films a run for their money.


“Netflix invested huge sums of money into ‘Kingdom,’ shot it in advance, and has released it around the world. When dramas are moving that direction, there’s no reason for film stars to stay aloof,” a source at one management company said.


The changing times have also affected directors’ choices.  “Disqualified from Being Human” is the first drama to be directed by Hur Jin-ho, the man behind the romance “Christmas in August” (1998). And “Suriname” is the first TV series taken on by Yoon Jong-bin, who directed “Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time” (2012).  Other film directors trying their hand at TV shows are Hwang Dong-hyuk (“Silenced”), who is directing “Round Six,” and Kang Yoon-sung (“The Outlaws”), who is directing “Casino.”


With Netflix making more original series, production budgets have ballooned. “Suriname” will be shot for 40 billion won (US$39.12 million), “Cliffhanger” for 30 billion won (US$27.09 million) and “Vincenzo” for 20 billion won (US$18.06 million).


“It’s nice to see so many film stars in TV dramas. That shows how much Korean dramas have grown in quality and how much the ecosystem has stabilized,” said Yun Seok-jin, a professor of Korean literature at Chungnam National University.


“But this is no longer a time when audiences can be bought off with star power. The important thing is the script, so this is a chance to see how good stars are at recognizing a good script,” Yun said.

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Hwang Jung Min recently sent SJK a food truck :) 






It turned out that Ji-hee Ji-hee left a famous'legendary travel photo' among fans of Jo Seung-woo and Hwang Jung-min. This is a fresh picture of the past three people who drank hard on an MT trip. Earlier, Hwang Jung-min said, "Ji Jin-hee is the most famous, so I was grateful just for uploading a picture." Ji-hee Ji-hee said, “At the time, I uploaded all three pictures to the cafes. It took 2-3 days. After that, everything went well and I felt so good. Seung-Woo Jo sometimes asked for a bicycle and recommended restaurants.”


He continued, “I thought there was only work to go up because I was at the bottom. Instead, he vowed to never step back. Let's go up slowly step by step. It is said that it is so-called floating, but if it floats too high and falls, it could be over, so I wanted to go slowly step by step while trying to keep myself. So even if it's a little slow, it can climb again even if it falls. I think I'm an actor because I have to learn it for a lifetime.”



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‘The Point Men’ flies to Asian buyers for Megabox Plus M (exclusive)


The Point Men_Hwang Jung-min (left) and Hyun Bin



South Korea’s Megabox Plus M has sold The Point Men, director Yim Soon-rye’s anticipated Korean hostage crisis drama, to 14 territories including Japan (Gaga) and Taiwan (MovieCloud).


The latest feature from Yim, who directed 2014 local hit Whistle Blower, stars Hwang Jung-min (The Spy Gone North) and Hyun Bin (Late Autumn) in the true story of a Korean diplomat who is dispatched to Afghanistan when a group of South Korean tourists is taken hostage by the Taliban. When all other measures fail and one hostage is killed, he is forced to team up with a special agent (Hyun) to try and rescue the survivors.


The film, which is in post-production, has also sold to Hong Kong and Macau (Edko Films), Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam (Encore Films), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Sahamongkol Film), Philippines (Viva Networks), and Mongolia (The Filmbridge).


Investor-distributor Megabox Plus M, which launched its international sales arm in October, is lining up The Point Men as a 2021 tentpole release in Korea.


The company says it has also been fielding inquiries from Chinese buyers following encouraging recent signals that a thaw in China’s unofficial freeze on Korean cultural products could be coming soon.



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Top movie stars choose small screen amid COVID-19


By Song Seung-hyun | Mar 2, 2021



Jeon Do-yeon: Jeon Do-yeon (Megabox Joongang Plus M)


More and more top Korean movie stars are opting for TV dramas mainly due to the prolonged difficult situation the local film industry has been going through since COVID-19 broke out early last year.


Not only movie stars that occasionally have been making the switch to TV shows, but also those who had been appearing only on the big screen for years are making the switch.


In December last year, veteran actor Hwang Jung-min, star of multiple megahit films like “Ode to My Father” and ”Veteran,” which each attracted more than 10 million viewers here, surprised fans with the decision to star in JTBC drama “Hush.”


Before starring in this human drama, Hwang’s latest TV appearance was around eight years ago in cable drama series “Korean Peninsula.”


“Hush,” which aired from Dec. 11 to Feb. 6, centered on the challenges that Korean reporters face. Hwang played Han Jun-hyuk, a long-time reporter who spends more time playing pool than doing his work. 



Scene from JTBC’s “Hush” starring Hwang Jung-min (JTBC)


Hwang will also appear on upcoming Netflix original series “Suriname,” along with another prolific actor Ha Jung-woo, who has three megahit films with more than 10 million viewers -- “Assassination” and two flicks in the “Along With the God” series. Ha‘s latest TV appearance was in crime drama “H.I.T” back in 2007.


Cannes-winning best actress Jeon Do-yeon will also star in the upcoming JTBC drama series “Disqualified as a Human.”


It has been around five years since Jeon last appeared on the small screen, as the main protagonist of tvN’s “The Good Wife” in 2016.


Jeon will play the role of ghostwriter Bu-jung, while co-star Ryu Jun-yeol will play the role of Kang-jae, who runs a company that organizes people to take on different roles for money. The story revolves around interactions between the two at life’s edge.


“Disqualified as a Human” will also be director Hur Jin-ho’s small screen debut. Hur is known for directing popular films such as “Christmas in August” and “The Last Princess.” Hit romantic movie “Architecture 101” writer Kim Ji-hye penned the script.


Choi Min-sik, who gained international fame for his role in Cannes-winning thriller “Oldboy” (2003), will star in the TV series “Casino” which will be directed by Kang Yoon-sung.


Choi’s new drama is aiming to begin airing before the end of this year.


Director Kang is known for directing the hit crime action film ”The Outlaws“ (2017). He, like Hur, does not have any experience directing TV dramas.



Choi Min-sik (CJes Entertainment)


According to movie industry insiders, the growth of global streaming platforms like Netflix, which produces original high-budget and quality series like zombie-thriller “Kingdom,” has also led Korean movie stars to consider making the switch, along with the shrinking local movie market.


However, some local entertainment industry insiders question whether this new trend of casting big names will last for long, as it does not always guarantee a show’s success. The 16-episode drama series “Hush” starring Hwang failed to attract a wide viewer base, as its highest viewership was the 3.4 percent recorded for its first episode, according to data from Nielsen Korea.


By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)

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Director Yoon Jong-bin’s CJ+Netflix original drama ‘Suriname’ cast (left to right, clockwise): Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Jo Woo-jin, Choo Ja-hyun, Park Hae-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok / photo=SportsKorea



35 billion Won production. 6 episodes. Script reading was held.  Filming begins at the end of April and will wrap up at the end of year.






‘Suriname’ Confirms Its Cast Lineup: Ha Jung Woo, Hwang Jung Min, Jo Woo Jin, Yoo Yeon Seok, and More


by krishkim



Credit: CJ Entertainment


Director Yoon Jong Bin’s new drama Suriname has confirmed the golden lineup. The first filming will start next month.’


According to multiple officials in the industry, Suriname additionally confirmed the casting of Jo Woo Jin, Yoo Yeon Seok, Park Hae Soo, and Choo Ja Hyun. Earlier, Ha Jung Woo and Hwang Jung Min have officially joined the project. The cast conducted their first table read on Monday.


An insider shared, “Director Yoon Jong Bin and the Suriname actors gathered to conduct the first table read yesterday. Top stars from the industry got together, and the table read was as heated as any other filming sites.”


Suriname is produced by CJ ENM and will be released through Netflix. The drama is based on the true story of a Korean who became a drug lord in Suriname, South America. It will be released as a 6-part series and has a production budget of 35 billion KRW (about 30,977,040 USD).


Ha Jung Woo, dubbed “Yoon Jong Bin’s persona,” will be working with Yoon for the fifth time. The two have already teamed up for The Unforgiven, The Moonlight Of Seoul, Nameless Gangster: Rules of Time, and KUNDO: Age of the Rampant. Hwang Jung Min also worked with Yoon in The Spy Gone North.



Credit: Warner Bros. Korea, Kingkong by Starship, Netflix, Choo Ja Hyun Instagram


For Suriname, Hwang Jung Min turns into the drug lord. Ha Jung Woo will play the character who helps the national intelligence agency to arrest the drug lord.


Jo Woo Jin, Yoo Yeon Seok, Park Hae Soo, and Choo Ja Hyun will either become drug lord’s gang members or agents of the national intelligence service.


Suriname was originally scheduled to be filmed in the Dominican Republic. However, with the outbreak of the COVID virus, the entire production was moved to Korea.


The production team plans to mainly shoot in Jeju Island and other parts of the country. Then about 20% of the filming will take place in Southeast Asian countries. Suriname will continue filming until the end of this year.


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[PICK] Here’s the Lineup of ‘NEW’ & Upcoming Movies, From ‘The Witch: Part 2’ to ‘The Owl’


by willow | 2021-04-05


The Movie Business division of media conglomerate NEW revealed a lineup for upcoming works. Eleven total works are presented, including works that are past their production stage, ready to premiere. The lineup also introduces pieces that recently caught the public’s attention with its cast members.


NEW’s movie business department newly arranged its organization into Content Strategy Planning HQ and Distribution Strategy Planning HQ. The company sought changes according to the climates of new media through planning, investment, production, and distribution. It also signed a long-term equity investment agreement with Library Pictures International, a Hollywood investment company. Amid the changing times after COVID-19, we look forward to whether the upcoming works of popular actors and production crew will bring life back to the theatre industry.


1. Hostage


Credit:  Next Entertainment World

This movie depicts the unprecedented incident where a famous actor is abducted at the center of Korea. Blurring the boundary between fiction and reality, Hwang Jung Min plays the kidnapped actor Hwang Jung Min. In the reality-thriller, he gets kidnapped in the early morning with no evidence left behind nor witnesses. Director Pil Gam Sung stated, “I hope this movie comes as a rollercoaster that is surprising, enjoyable, and thrilling. It will be fun for viewers to both empathize with and watch the protagonist. Especially in a situation where the distinction between fiction and non-fiction is unclear.”


2. Special Cargo

A crime action film that unfolds as Eun Ha gets embroiled in an unforeseen event. The character is a driver who fast-delivers anything with a success rate of 100%. Park So Dam will demonstrate action scenes as she acts as the driver with exceptional driving skills. “You will be able to see how awesome Park So Dam’s stunts are,” states director Park Dae Min as he adds, “please look forward to the action scenes and the close bonds between characters as they run towards a goal.”


3. Not the Lips (literal title)

Illustrated by this film is a story of those whose lives and works are complicated as they get entangled in bizarre romances. It is the first full-length movie to be directed by actress Jo Eun Ji. Earlier, she won the Jury’s Special Award from the 2017 Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival for her short film, 2 Nights 3 Days. Director Jo Eun Ji explained, “It’s a comedy that captures the process of various characters experiencing growth from different relationships. Hopefully, the interaction between characters who are full of personalities will create laughter.” The work stars Ryu Seung Ryong, Oh Na Ra, Kim Hee Won, Lee Yoo Young, Sung Yoo Bin, Moo Jin Sung, and more.


4. Hello, My Soulmate

It is a story about the soulmate we all once had back then, with whom we shared our friendship, breakup, and love. Kim Da Mi, Jeon So Nee, and Byeon Woo Seok become the radiant youths in the film as they capture Jeju Island’s beautiful scenery and their sincerity that overcomes generations. “It’s about finally realizing who they are through each other, after going in circles for a long time. Please look forward to the special friendship between the women who are subtle yet strong,” director Min Yong Geun urged.


5. Handsome Guys

Lee Sung Min and Lee Hee Joon play the two lead characters of this scary yet funny comedy work. The plot unfolds as the village and cabin’s myth comes to life when the two move to the mountain cabin. With unforgettable first appearances, these men call themselves ‘Handsome Guys.’ Director Nam Dong Hyub stated, “Though shamelessly funny, the movie reveals how genuine and serious the two men are. You will be able to enjoy a different kind of fun in the message that points out the prejudices and misunderstandings related to outward appearances.”


6. The Witch: Part 2

It is a sequel to The Witch: Part 1, The Subversion. The movie deals with a girl who awakes from the huge secret lab and those who chase after her. An audition-winning Rookie actress Shin Si Ah will play the film’s main character. Along with existing cast members Jo Min Su and Kim Da Mi, expectations are rising as Lee Jong Suk, Park Eun Bin, Seo Eun Joo, Jin Goo, and Sung Yoo Bin will be newly joining. Director Park Hoon Jung detailed, “It is a work that allows people to face human nature through a transcendence being. I hope it will be a pleasant gift to fans who anticipated the sequel, as they will be able to take a step further into the universe.”



* New Films Going into Production



Credit: Warner Bros Pictures, Showbox, Lotte Entertainment, JINJIN Pictures


7. Smugglers

It is a work that became the talk of the town only with the news of its cast members, including Kim Hye Soo, Yum Jung Ah, Jo In Sung, and Park Jung Min. With a small, peaceful seaside village of the 70s as its background, the film depicts the story of two women who get involved in smuggling. Director Ryu Seung Wan plans to fiercely portray the risky smuggling operation that happens upon the vast sea.


8. High Five (literal title)

Director Kang Hyeong Cheol, the master of storytelling, will come back to the world of supernatural powers. High Five (working title) draws the story of five novice heroes who coincidentally happened to get superpowers as they meet those who yearn after their abilities. Lee Jae In, Yoo Ah In, Ahn Jae Hong, Ra Mi Ran, Kim Hee Won, and Oh Jung Se will make their appearances in the film.


9. Honest Candidate 2

As a follow-up for Honest Candidate, previous cast members, including Ra Mi Ran, Kim Mu Yeol, Yoon Kyung Ho, and director Jang Yoo Jung, will return. The sequel will focus on Joo Sang Sook’s story, the owner of the mouth of truth, as she hopes to return to politics.


10. The Land of Happiness (literal title)

The story of a lawyer who tries their best to save a figure caught up in an incident that shook modern history to its core. It is a new movie by Choo Chang Min, the film director that recorded 10 million viewers, Masquerade. As Jo Jung Suk plays the role of the lawyer Jung In Hoo, he will be making a bold impression than he did before.


11. The Owl

It is a thriller film that lays out the overnight incident that happened inside the palace. It depicts Kyung Soo’s story, a blind acupuncturist with a gifted talent, as he finds out about the forbidden secret of the king. Choi Min Sik will play the king, and Ryu Jun Ryeol will become Kyung Soo, the acupuncturist. Ahn Tae Jin, who previously was the assistant director of The King & The Clown, will grab the megaphone.


Source: NEW

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Cannes 2021: Who is in the running?


29 APRIL 2021



Cannes Film Festival delegate general Thierry Frémaux announced earlier this month the Official Selection for its 74th edition, due to run July 6-17, will be unveiled just under a month from now on May 27.


Fingers are crossed throughout the international film industry that a physical edition will happen after 2020’s cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic but one year on and Frémaux and his selection committee are once again pulling together an Official Selection against a backdrop of immense uncertainty.


France is working its way out of a third wave, thanks to a national lockdown and the ramping up of its vaccination programme. But the seven-day average for daily cases still stood at 27,000 as of Tuesday (April 27) and public spaces from cafes and restaurants to museums and cinemas remain closed. 


Filmmakers, producers and sales agents are taking more time to both submit films and accept invites with some preferring to aim directly instead for later events like Locarno and in particular Venice, in the belief the Covid-19 situation in Europe will have eased further by the time they roll around in August.


A key marker for both local and international film professionals is the reopening of cinemas in France. “Thierry Frémaux said cinemas needed to be open for the festival to go ahead and that’s what’s everyone is waiting for,” said one film PR this week. “I’ve already got films lined up for Locarno and Venice but nobody’s contacted me for Cannes titles as yet. It’s usually the other way around.”


French media reported last week culture minister Roselyn Bachelot had secured a promise of May 17 for the reopening of cinemas and local industry expectations are high this will happen. If this does come to pass, Frémaux and his team will be in for an extremely intense 10 days as they put the final touches to their 2021 Official Selection ahead of the announcement on May 27.


Ever hopeful, the Screen team has been talking to its contacts across the industry to get a sense of what is ready and has been submitted and is serious contention for Official Selection and the parallel sections of Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week and ACID.



South Korea




South Korea did not halt production over the last year and a half and a raft of features are coming together in time for a Cannes splash.


Festival regular Park Chan-wook, however, only wrapped murder-mystery drama Decision To Leave in March so it could be a push for the film to be completed in time for Cannes. Park Hae-il stars as a detective whose investigation into a man’s murder leads to his mysterious widow, played by Tang Wei. The director was last in Cannes in 2016 with Palme d’Or contender The Handmaiden.


Films that have been completed in time for submission include Han Jae-rim’s airplane disaster film Emergency Declaration, featuring Parasite actor Song Kang-ho, Hollywood crossover star Lee Byung-hun (The Good, The Bad, The Weird) and Jeon Do-yeon, who won the Palme d’Or for her performance in Lee Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine in 2007.


There’s also buzz around Pil Gam-sung’s debut feature Hostage: Missing Celebrity. Hwang Jung-min, who was previously in Cannes in 2018 Midnight Screenings title The Spy Gone North, plays a movie star who thinks he is being pranked when he is abducted but then quickly understands his kidnappers are deadly serious. It is produced by hit-making Filmmaker R&K.


From the same production house, Ryoo Seung-wan’s political action drama Escape From Mogadishu is wrapping up post-production and is out to festivals. The director’s previous films, while garnering industry acclaim, have often had their local release dates at odds with major festival premiere schedules. This year’s pandemic uncertainties might change that situation. Ryoo was previously in Venice official selection with The City Of Violence (2006) and in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight with Crying Fist (2005).


Hong Sangsoo is just coming off his Berlinale Silver Bear win for best screenplay with Introduction but there is always the possibility the prolific auteur has another film coming along this year with the usual discretion.


Yim Soon-rye’s highly anticipated The Point Men about a real-life hostage crisis in Afghanistan involving South Korean tourists is due out later this year. It also stars Hwang Jung-min, this time as a diplomat dispatched to resolve the stand-off, opposite K-drama A-lister Hyun Bin (Late Autumn). 


The Korean remake of Atom Egoyan’s Nazi-hunting film of the same title, Remember is also due out later this year. Director Lee Il-hyung’s previous credits include box office hit A Violent Prosecutor.  Lee Sung-min, who was also in The Spy Gone North, stars as an octogenarian ex-soldier with dementia who sets out to take vengeance on pro-Japanese collaborators. Two-time Cannes director Yoon Jong-bin’s production house Moonlight Film (The Spy Gone North) is producing.


Lee Kyu-man’s criminal drama The Policeman’s Lineage also has two stars that were previously in Cannes - Cho Jin-woong (The Handmaiden) and Choi Woo-shik (Parasite) – and is in post-production.


With some more overlapping talent, Lee Won-tae, whose Gangster, The Cop, The Devil was in 2019 Cannes’ Midnight Screenings, has political drama The Devil’s Deal starring Cho Jin-woong (The Handmaiden), Lee Sung-min (The Spy Gone North) and Kim Moo-yul (The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil).


Jang Cheol-soo, who premiered Bedevilled in Critics’ Week in 2010, has North Korean army soldier melodrama Serve The People in post-production.


Kim Min-soo, whose screenwriting credits include previous Cannes Midnight Screenings title The Merciless, is making a feature directorial debut with crime thriller Dirty Money, starring Jung Woo (Best Friend) and Kim Dae-myung (The Drug King) that could turn up on the Croisette.


Jung Yoon-suk, whose Non-fiction Diary and Bamseom Pirates: Seoul Inferno did the rounds of festivals such as Berlin and Rotterdam, is working on another documentary called Tomorrow, about people who produce, consume, or use surrogate human forms such as sex dolls and AI robots for different reasons.

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Hwang Jungmin

The whole masculinity that is hot, intense, humorous, and reliable!  The actor has never lost in the box office hit






photo by Kim Jungman


His name says it all.  Hwang Jungmin is the key actor of Chungmuro, the symbolic center of Korean cinema.  He, who has proven his amazing acting chops.  When the camera turns on, the actor empties himself to become a character he plays.  Hwang debuted with the musical Line 1 (1994) and started to make his presence felt after starring in the film Waikiki Brothers (2001).  At the time, director Yim Soonrye said, ‘Hwang Jungmin is like a rough gemstone being cut into a gem,’ which turned out to be like a prophecy of Hwang’s acting life.  It is said that actors wear different clothes depending on their characters, but Hwang is full of raw energy that is hard to see through.  He showed innocent-faced drummer Kangsoo in Waikiki Brothers, then he turned into a hypocritical and shameless lawyer in A Good Lawyer’s Wife (2003).  In A Bittersweet Life (2005), he became vicious, gruesome Boss Baek, sending shivers down people’s spines.

Hwang Jungmin, who can best play villain characters in South Korea, is also more than capable of playing a romantic character.  It is rather rare among Chungmuro’s top character actors to show their talents in melodramas as well.  The first work that confirmed his talent in melodrama was You’re My Sunshine (2005), in which he starred opposite Jeon Doyeon.  What otherwise can be considered predictable moments or cringeworthy lines become genuine and real thanks to Hwang’s brilliant acting.  It was no wonder that the Blue Dragon Award and the Korean Film Award of the year gave him the Best Actor Award.

Hwang Jungmin is a reliable actor for sponsor companies as he has a combination of personal charms, acting chops, and ticket power.  The audience often assumes that even a dark-themed film is worth watching if Hwang appears in it.  Despite the devastation of the movie industry due to COVID-19, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, in which Hwang starred, ranked second at the box office in 2020.  In short, Hwang Jungmin is ‘trust.’  With Ode to My Father (2014) and Veteran (2015), the actor attracted 10 million viewers respectively.  Among the leading actors of these films, Hwang reached a cumulative audience of 100 million following Song Kangho.  His presence is well felt even in the movies where he played minor roles, such as The Wailing (2016) and Asura: The City of Madness (2016), which proves the saying “An actor proves his value not with the importance of a role, but with the impression of a character.”  The actor’s next films include director Yim Soonrye’s new film The Point Men and the crime thriller Hostage: Missing Celebrity.  Hwang Jungmin still has a lot to show.  Jung Siwoo



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Unsure about box office recovery, Korean film industry delays releases for summer season


May 26, 2021

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- Although the local box office shows some signs of recovery before the summer peak season, the pandemic-hit Korean film industry still remains wary of releasing big-budget films in the near future.

The South Korean box office recently made a long-waited turnaround thanks to a bullish run by "F9," the latest chapter in the "Fast and Furious" series.  Released on May 19, the Hollywood blockbuster posted 400,000 viewers on opening day to set the biggest first-day score since the pandemic began early last year.  And it attracted 1 million attendees in its first week, becoming the first flick to achieve the feat in about 10 months since two homegrown films, "Peninsula" and "Deliver Us From Evil," last summer.

But the Korean film circle is reluctant to ride on the upside trend ahead of the summer peak season, with no scheduled releases in the coming weeks.

Lotte Entertainment has put off the release schedule of the drama "Miracle," set in the second week of June. It began promotional events in April with a press conference but has stopped the process since last week.  Its big-budget drama "Mogadishu," which has already completed the film rating procedure, has also been shelved.

The crime thriller "Hostage: Missing Celebrity," starring Hwang Jung-min, was first planned to hit local screens in June as its distributor, Next Entertainment World, applied to local authorities for film rating of its trailers last month. But its official release date has not been determined yet.

Insiders said local production studios and distributors are discouraged by lower-than-expected box office scores by two big-budget Korean titles released in spring.  The science-fiction action blockbuster "Seobok" drew 385,000 moviegoers during its 18-day theatrical run in April.  Although it was released simultaneously in theaters and via streaming platform Tving, its box office results are disappointing. "Seobok" was one of the most anticipated blockbusters in South Korea since last year due to its subject of the first human clone and to its starring two Korean heartthrobs, Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum.  The well-made historical epic "The Book of Fish," released on March 31, went to the video-on-demand market after attracting just 338,000 attendees for about a month.

On top of that, the South Korean film industry is still uncertain about whether the local film market has got out of the yearlong slump and is taking a wait-and-see approach.  They will likely take action after upcoming Hollywood blockbusters, including the American superhero film "Black Widow" slated for July, further heat up the market in the summer.

The total number of moviegoers in the country hit a record low of 5.9 million last year, plunging 74 percent from a year ago.  The downside trend has continued in 2021, as 8.15 million people went to theaters from January to March, slumping 68.7 percent from 26 million tallied in the same period last year.


In this file photo taken on May 24, 2020, a theater of Lotte Cinema in Seoul is relatively empty. (Yonhap)


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Suriname cast confirmed! They started filming a couple weeks ago. It will be coming to Netflix






[Official] Ha Jung-woo X Hwang Jung-min X Park Hae-soo X Cho Woo-jin X Yoo Yeon-seok and Yoon Jong-bin confirmed their first appearance on Netflix's "Suriname"


Netflix, a world-renowned entertainment streaming service, has unveiled its unique cast, confirming the production of a new series "Suriname" directed by Yoon Jong-bin.

Director Yoon Jong-bin will land on Netflix with the Netflix series Suriname. Director Yoon Jong-bin, who has established himself as a representative director of Korea by directing "The Duke," "The Age of the People's Ran," and "The War on Crime: The Golden Age of the Bad," and solidified his position as a producer through "Closet," "Money," and "Extra-Prosecutor."

Yoon Jong-bin's first series production and his first work with Netflix, "Surinam," featured all the nation's leading luxury actors.

First, Ha Jung-woo will reunite with director Yoon Jong-bin for the first time in seven years. The special relationship between Ha Jung-woo and Yoon Jong-bin began with 'The Unforgiven'. The two began to strengthen their position as directors and actors, respectively, as "unforgivable people," and later established themselves as the best directors and actors, including "The Beastie Boys" and "The Archipelago: The Age of the People's Ran." Ha Jung-woo starts his business in Suriname to make a lot of money, but plays Kang In-gu, who becomes embroiled in drug crimes.

In addition, Hwang Jung-min and Yoon Jong-bin, who met as directors and actors in "The Spy Gone North," and as producers and actors in "The Non-Prosecutor," made their third meeting with Khan and South Korea. Hwang Jung-min plays Jeon Yo-hwan, the undisputed drug king who controls Surinam at will. Suriname is a work that shows the first collaboration between veteran Ha Jung-woo and Hwang Jung-min, who are recognized for their own actors, further amplifying expectations.

Park Hae-soo, who has confirmed his appearance in tvN's drama "Prison Playbook," Netflix's "Time for Hunting," and the newly released Korean version of "The House of Paper" in the second half, will turn into Choi Chang-ho, head of the National Intelligence Service's U.S. team.

Cho Woo-jin, who has been active in all directions such as the movie "Calling Restriction," "Battle of Bongo-dong," "Money," "National Bankruptcy Day," and tvN drama "Mr. Sunshine" and "Guardian," will turn into a Korean-Chinese toilet who handles all kinds of dirty things with Jeon Yo-hwan's right arm.

Yoo Yeon-seok, who played sharpness and tenderness in the movie "Kang Chul-bi 2: Summit" and tvN dramas "Hospital Playlist" and "Mr. Sunshine," transforms into Jeon Yo-hwan's lawyer and organization's brain David Park to show a new face. Based on the true story, curiosity is being added to the breathtaking story of those who will be surrounded by huge drug crimes in Suriname, an out-of-control lawless area.

Based on a true story, Suriname is a work about the life of a civilian businessman who has no choice but to cooperate with the NIS' secret operation to arrest a Korean drug king who took control of Suriname, a country in South America. Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo, Cho Woo-jin, and Yoo Yeon-seok will appear and directed by Yoon Jong-bin from "War on Crime: The Age of the Bad," "The Age of the People's Ran," and "The Duke."



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Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min confirmed to star in 'Suriname'

By Kwak Yeon-soo | 2021-05-28

Actors Ha Jung-woo, left, and Hwang Jung-min / Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

Park Hae-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok and Jo Woo-jin will join Ha Jung-woo and Hwang Jung-min in the star-studded cast of "Suriname," a new Netflix Korea original series.

Filmmaker Yoon Jong-bin, whose credits include "Nameless Gangster: Rules of Time" (2012), "Kundo: Age of the Rampant" (2014) and "The Spy Gone North" (2018), is set to helm his first TV series. 

Based on a true story, "Suriname" revolves around a man named Jeon Yo-han (Hwang) who rose to become a drug lord in Suriname, a former Portuguese colony on the northern coast of South America. 

Ha, who is set to star in a TV drama for the first time in 14 years since 2007's "H.I.T.," will star as a businessman named Kang In-goo who gets embroiled in drug-related crimes but chooses to cooperate with the National Intelligence Service. 

Park, who left a strong impression on viewers by playing the merciless villain in the 2020 dystopian action thriller "Time to Hunt," will play the secret agent who chases after Jeon while Jo will appear as a close aide of the drug kingpin. Ahead of "Suriname," Jo is starring in the thriller "Hard Hit" that will be released in theaters in June. 

Yoo, who will appear in season 2 of the series "Hospital Playlist" next, will be playing a lawyer for the drug lord. 

The 40 billion won ($35.8 million) budget project was supposed to be filmed in the Dominican Republic, but the pandemic has thwarted the production team's original plan and they shot majority of the series in Korea. Only about 20 percent of the film will be shot in Southeast Asia instead of Latin America.

Netflix hasn't announced an official premiere date for "Suriname."


Related reports: netflix | zapzee | kobiz | 

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Kim Min-ki, including Yoon Jong-shin, Wendy, Hwang Jung-min, and others, will be shown recording the Tribute album 




Kim Min-ki's Tribute album will be released for four weeks from the 6th.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the release of "Morning dew," the first part of the Tribute album "Morning dew" dedicated to Kim Min-ki, will be presented on various music sites at 6 p.m. on the 6th.

Accordingly, recordings of musicians participating in the tribute album, including Yoon Jong-shin, Wendy (Red Velvet), Hwang Jung-min (actor), were also released. In mid-May, the recording was conducted sequentially with other participating musicians at the K-Note Studio (Seongdong-gu, Seoul) of the project's music director Kim Hyung-seok. In front of the recording studio microphone, musicians repeatedly sang again to capture the meaning and sensibility of Kim Min-ki's song in their own colors.

The song of "Morning Dew" dedicated to Kim Min-ki for 50 years will be released on the 6th, and people who visit Kwon Jin-won (Hwang Jung-min) and Na Yoon-sun's songs will open with four to five new parts. In the last four weeks, "Morning Dew," sung by all participating singers, will be released.

"Morning dew" dedicated to Kim Min-ki in 50 years will be released on CDs in July and LPs after August after completing the release of the song. On June 20, a special episode of KBS <Open Concert> and a Tribute Concert will also be broadcasted on June 20. Due to the severe situation of Covid-19, the concert will be held at an indoor concert hall after Sept.

The album "Kim Min-ki," which includes "Morning dew" and "Friend," was released in 1971, and has since become a medium for expressing Korean young people's desire for democracy beyond popular culture, along with other works by Kim Min-ki, including "Sangnoksu." Kim Min-ki has been working as a musical producer since the 1990s, establishing a theater company called Hakjeon.

The Tribute album was joined by musicians from all genres and generations, focusing on junior singers who went through the pre-school concert hall. Hwang Jung-min also participated in the singing on behalf of actors such as Seol Kyung-gu, Kim Yoon-seok, Jang Hyun-sung and Cho Seung-woo, who were on the stage of the musical before the school. Musicians who shone in the era, including Cho Dong-ik, Yoon Il-sang, and Park In-young (string), were in charge of the arrangement.

As part of the Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation's Gyeonggi Culture Road project, the Tribute Album has been planned since last year by the 50th anniversary of Morning Dew, which is centered on Han Young-ae, Park Hak-e (general director), and composer Kim Hyung-seok (music director).

In addition to the Tribute album, Kim Min-ki's children's song record production and Tribute exhibition will also be held. Kim Min-ki composed numerous children's songs and directed children's plays. Artists in the field of visual arts influenced by Kim Min-ki's art and spirit will hold the homage exhibition from the 10th to the 23rd of next month at the Hangaram Art Museum's Exhibition Room 7. Along with the archives related to Kim Min-ki, talks such as Kim Chang-nam and Kang Heon, which shed light on Kim Min-ki's music world on the opening day are also prepared.
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Delayed big-budget films to be released this summer

June 10, 2021

Film distributors are lining up their releases for the summer -- some of which are long overdue.

On Tuesday, Lotte Entertainment announced that “Escape from Mogadishu,” director Ryoo Seung-wan’s 11th film, will open sometime this summer.


The second big-budget release was announced Thursday by Next Entertainment World (NEW). It released a poster for “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” showing actor Hwang Jung-min tied up in a chair.  Hwang portrays himself in the action thriller.  Written and directed by rookie filmmaker Pil Gam-sung, the film is a remake of the 2015 Chinese hit “Saving Mr. Wu.”  The film is Hwang’s third project with production company Filmmaker R&K, which was behind hits such as “The Unjust” (2010) and “Veteran” (2015). It also produced “Escape from Mogadishu.”


Poster for upcoming film ″Hostage: Missing Celebrity″ [NEW]

Release dates for the two films were not disclosed. The releases of both were delayed several times by the pandemic. 


BY LEE JAE-LIM   [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]  




Hwang Jung-min 'Hostage', summer release confirmed + launch poster released …Reality action thriller




The reality action thriller <Hostage> has confirmed its summer release and has released a launch poster. [Provided/Distributed: NEW | Manufactured by: Filmmaker R&K | Co-production: Sam Company | Screenplay/Director: Phil Gamseong | Cast: Hwang Jung-min]


Movie <Hostage>, which will raise the audience's immersion and tension to the highest level, has confirmed its summer release and has released a shocking launch poster.

<Hostage> is a reality action thriller that depicts actor Hwang Jung-min who is kidnapped at dawn one day without any evidence or witnesses. Actor Hwang Jung-min, who earned the nickname 'Trust Bo-hwang / 믿보황' by leading numerous blockbuster films, from <Deliver Us from Evil / 다만 악에서 구하소서>, which mobilized 4.35 million spectators last summer, <The Wailing / 곡성>, <A Violent Prosecutor / 검사외전>, and <Ode to My Father / 국제시장>. As he plays himself in <Hostage>, he plans to renew his life character once again.


The launching poster, which was released with the news of the release this summer, draws attention with an unconventional visual in which Hwang Jung-min is tied and tied to the hideout of hostages. Hwang Jung-min, who is tied with rope and blue tape, with his head lowered, exudes a strong aura just from the back appearance.

In addition, the concise copy of “Hwang Jung-min” raises curiosity even more in harmony with the concept of the movie, which provides extreme reality while announcing that it is Hwang Jung-min who has become a hostage. From the self-recognized Korean representative actor Hwang Jung-min, who was suddenly caught as a 'hostage' and risked his life to escape, the movie shows a thrilling tension and action in every scene, giving the audience the ultimate in immersion. It will show the essence of 'reality action thriller'.

In addition, <Hostage> is a work in which Filmmaker R&K, a film company that has been loved by audiences by presenting the best works that represent the summer every year such as <Veteran> and <Exit>, once again met with Hwang Jung-min following <The Unjust / 부당거래> and <Veteran / 베테랑>. As a result, it will revitalize the theater district that has been stagnant due to the corona virus.

It is already attracting the attention of prospective audiences to see how the 'unprecedented situation in history where actor Hwang Jung-min was taken hostage in the middle of Seoul' would have been drawn by the meeting of the know-how of a movie company and the enthusiasm of a new director.

The movie <Hostage>, which announced the birth of a reality action thriller by releasing such a strong launching poster, is scheduled to be released in the summer.




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Homegrown blockbusters set to hit screens in summer

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Hopes are high that local theaters will be filled with filmgoers again in the summer peak season thanks to upcoming releases of homegrown and Hollywood blockbusters.

According Lotte Entertainment, the action film "Escape from Mogadishu," based on the true story of diplomats in South and North Korean missions in Somalia during the 1991 civil war, will hit local screens this summer.  It is one of the most anticipated films targeting this summer for its production budget of 20 billion won (US$18 million) and its all-star cast, along with star director Ryoo Seung-wan, who has created many box-office hits, including the action thriller "The Berlin File" (2013) and "Veteran" (2015).

The poster of "Escape from Mogadishu," provided by Lotte Entertainment (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Next Entertainment World said it will release the crime thriller "Hostage: Missing Celebrity" during the summer vacation season.  Actor Hwang Jung-min plays a kidnapped celebrity who tries to escape from the mysterious forces.

The poster of "Hostage: Missing Celebrity," provided by Next Entertainment World (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The South Korean film industry, which was hit hard by the protracted novel coronavirus pandemic, hopes that the homemade tent-pole films will help the local box office enjoy a summer boost again this year along with Hollywood blockbusters.

Last year, when local theaters suffered a 75 percent on-year slump in the number of moviegoers, two Korean movies -- zombie thriller "Peninsula" and action thriller "Deliver Us from Evil" -- drew more than 3 million people each in the summer alone.  They are the only two titles that have posted more than 3 million attendees in South Korea since the pandemic began early last year.

As the pandemic continues in 2021, a number of big-budget movies have put off their release schedules or were brought to streaming platforms without a theatrical run, while the action comedy "Mission: Possible" remains the biggest box-office hit with 447,000 moviegoers.



Recently, the industry has shown some signs of recovery thanks to a bullish run by Hollywood films, like "F9," the latest chapter in the "Fast and Furious" series.  With a record 400,000 people on the opening day, it topped 2 million in the total audience last weekend at the fastest pace in 2021.

Walt Disney's live action film "Cruella," the American horror "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" and the action thriller "Wrath of Man" also lent support to the upside trend, while Marvel's superhero film "Black Widow" will likely hit local screens in early July.

This image provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows a scene from "Black Widow." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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Most anticipated movies this summer, from 'Escape from Mogadishu' to 'Black Widow'

By Kwak Yeon-soo | 2021-06-11

From left, posters for films "Escape from Mogadishu," "Hostage: Missing Celebrity" and "Black Widow" / Courtesy of Lotte Entertainment, NEW, Walt Disney Korea

With Hollywood films like "F9" and "Cruella" doing better than expected at the box office and the country's vaccination rate picking up quickly, delayed blockbusters are finally hitting the big screen in time for the summer blockbuster season. 

The action blockbuster "F9" has sold over 2 million box office tickets here since its release on May 19, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. Disney's "Cruella" has attracted over 760,000 moviegoers, grossing 7.2 billion won ($6.4 million) so far. 

The country's inoculation rate has been rising with some 20 percent of the population having received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine shots since February. 

Under these conditions, Lotte Entertainment announced its plans to release the big-budget action blockbuster "Escape from Mogadishu," featuring Kim Yoon-seok and Zo In-sung, in July.  Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the film depicts the life-or-death escape of South Korean and North Korean embassy workers stranded in the midst of the Somali Civil War that took place in the 1990s.  

"Director Ryoo has teamed up with Dexter Studio, the visual effects house behind hits like the Along with the Gods series and Ashfall, to bring the film to a whole new level. The production team shot the entire film in Morocco," the film distributor said in a statement.

Next Entertainment World is looking to release director Pil Kam-sung's action thriller "Hostage: Missing Celebrity" this summer. The exact release date has not been unveiled yet.  In the upcoming film, actor Hwang Jung-min will portray himself, as he is kidnapped by an unidentified squad and tries to break free from them. 

"I hope the audiences enjoy this rollercoaster-like story. In a given situation where real and unreal are no longer distinguishable, audiences will be able to fully immerse themselves in the experience of the protagonist," director Pil said. 

A scene from the film "The Medium" / Courtesy of Showbox

"The Medium," a horror film produced by "The Wailing" (2016) director Na Hong-jin, is also set for local release next month, according to the film's local distributor Showbox.  Na co-wrote the script and produced the film, which is about a mysterious phenomenon besetting a shaman's family in the Isan region of Thailand. It is directed by Thai filmmaker Banjong Pisanthanakun, known for commercially and critically successful films such as "Shutter" (2004) and "Pee Mak" (2013).

Meanwhile, more Hollywood films are also gearing up to provide popular options to lure audiences back into theaters.  Marvel's superhero film "Black Widow" is expected to open in July. Scarlett Johansson will reprise her role as the Avengers character Natasha, also known as the Black Widow, who confronts a dangerous conspiracy tied to her dark past.  Disney's fantasy adventure film "Jungle Cruise," starring big-name stars like Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, will also hit theaters in July. The two embark on an adventure in search of a mystical tree that has the power to heal. 

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cr: https://newsis.com/view/?id=NISX20210615_0001476573 & https://newsis.com/view/?id=NISX20210615_0001476517


Summer 2021


Distributor: Lotte Entertainment

Film: ‘Escape from Mogadishu | 모가디슈’

Release Date: 2021.07.28
Director: Ryoo Seung-wan (No Blood No Tears, Crying Fist, City of Violence, The Unjust, The Berlin File, Veteran, The Battleship Island)
Cast: Kim Yoon-seok, Zo In-sung, Huh Joon-ho; Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim So-jin, Jung Man-sik, Kim Jae-hwa, Park Kyung-hye

=> Star director Ryoo Seung-wan’s 11th feature film. 22-25 billion won (19.6-22.3 million dollar) budget.




Distributor: Next Entertainment World

Film: ‘Hostage: Missing Celebrity | 인질’
Director: Pil Gam-sung
Cast: Hwang Jung-min




Distributor: SHOWBOX

Film: ‘Sinkhole | 싱크홀’
Director: Kim Ji-hoon (May 18, Sector 7, The Tower)
Cast: Cha Seung-won, Kim Sung-kyun, Lee Kwang-soo; Kim Hye-joon, Nam Da-reum, Kim Hong-pa, Ko Chang-seok, Kwon So-hyun, Han Hye-rin

=> 14-15 billion won (12.5-13.4 million dollar) budget.




Distributor: CJ Entertainment 

Film: ‘The Cursed: Dead Man’s Prey | The Cursed: Again | 방법: 재차의’
Release Date: 2021.07.28
Director: Kim Yong-wan (Champion)
Cast: Uhm Ji-won, Jung Ji-so, Jung Moon-sung, Kim In-kwon; Ko Kyu-pil, Kwon Hae-Hyo, Oh Yoon-ah, Angel Lee




4 Blockbusters Slated for Release This Summer

June 16, 2021


The blockbusters slated for release into socially distanced movie theaters this summer are either action flicks or disaster movies.

"Mogadishu" depicts the harrowing escape from Somalia by Korean Embassy staff when civil war broke out there in the 1990s. The action film starring Kim Yoon-seok and Zo In-sung cost W20 billion (US$1=W1,118).

"Sinkhole" is true to its title and stars Cha Seung-won and Kim Sung-kyun, while in "Hostage," Hwang Jung-min plays a version of himself who is secretly abducted in Seoul and risks his life to escape.

The movies are expected to hit theaters between July and August, although exact dates have yet to be set.

The most promising foreign blockbuster is "Black Widow" starring Scarlett Johansson, yet another installment in the interminable Avengers series, which hits theaters on July 7.

Last year, only three Korean blockbusters hit theaters and drew 1.8 million to 4.35 million viewers despite the coronavirus pandemic. But so far this year no Korean film has attracted more than 500,000 moviegoers, though there are hopes that this summer's big movies will draw more people as vaccination is picking up.

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Distributor: Megabox Plus M
Film: ‘The Point Men | 교섭’
Genre: Drama
Director: YIM Soon-rye (Waikiki Brothers, Forever the Moment, The Whistleblower, Little Forest)
Cast: HWANG Jung-min, HYUN Bin, KANG Ki-young
Release Date: 2021


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