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Yoo Ah In and Lee Jung Hyun win at 36th Blue Dragon Film AwardsNovember 27, 2015
Yoo Ah In beat out co-star Song Kang Ho to win his first Best Actor prize for his performance as the tragic Crown Prince Sado in Lee Joon Ik's The Throne. The historical drama also won Best Supporting Actress for Jeon Hye Jin and bagged technical prizes for Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Technical Award. Singer-turned-actress Lee Jung Hyun triumphed over Jeon Ji Hyun, Jeon Do Yeon, Kim Hye Su and Han Hyo Ju and tearfully accepted the Best Actress prize for her dark turn in the indie drama Alice in Earnestland.
Oh Dal Soo followed the Daejong Film Awards with another Supporting Actor trophy for his performance in Yoon Je Kyun's blockbuster melodrama Ode to My Father, which was also recognized for Best Art Direction. Best Screenplay went to the legal drama The Unfair, and Best Editing to The Beauty Inside.
Indie drama Set Me Free scored double wins for Best New Director Kim Tae Yong and Best New Actor Choi Woo Sik, who came out on top in a star-studded category that included Lee Min Ho, Park Seo Joon, Kang Ha Neul and Byun Yo Han. Lee Young Young won Best New Actress for her performance in the period thriller The Treacherous. Lee Min Ho, Park Bo Young, Park Seo Joon and AOA's Kim Seol Hyun received the Popularity Awards.
Text / Sanwei
52nd Golden Horse Award WinnersNovember 25, 2015
The Assassin's leading lady Shu Qi lost out on Best Actress to Karena Lam for Zinnia Flower, with the film being the actress's first after a long hiatus. This was Lam's first Golden Horse Award since winning both Best New Performer and Best Supporting Actress for July Rhapsody 13 years ago. With this win, Lam also became the first actress in Golden Horse history to achieve the trifecta of Best New Performer, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. Director-turned-actor Feng Xiaogang emerged as the dark horse of the Best Actor category, defeating two-time Best Actor Award winner Aaron Kwok (Port of Call) and Deng Chao (The Dead End) with his role as an aging gangster in Mr. Six.
Chang Tso Chi's Thanatos, Drunk also had a big night, winning Best Original Music, Best Film Editing, Best New Performer (Hong Chi Lee) and Best Supporting Actress (Lu Xuefeng). Best Original Screenplay went to Mainland director Jia Zhangke for Mountains May Depart, Best Adapted Screenplay to Pema Tseden for Tharlo, Best Supporting Actor to Michael Ning for Port of Call and Best New Director to Bi Gan for Kaili Blues.
Other notable winners include Johnnie To's Office in Best Art Direction and Tsui Hark's The Taking of Tiger Mountain in Best Visual Effects. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award went to actress and singer Li Li Hua, who received her trophy from her Qin Xianglian co-star Jackie Chan.
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Translation / Frood
Ode to My Father sweeps 52nd Daejong Film AwardsNovember 23, 2015
Jeon Ji Hyun, who could not attend due to her pregnancy, won Best Actress for her role as a sharp-shooting freedom fighter in Choi Dong Hoon's period thriller Assassination, while veteran Kim Hae Suk won Best Supporting Actress for the historical drama The Throne. Both actress awards represented the sole wins for their respective films, which had entered the race as among the leading contenders. Ryoo Seung Wan's action thriller Veteran was completely shut out.
Television superstar Lee Min Ho picked up a Best New Actor for his first leading film Gangnam Blues. Late Spring's Lee Yoo Young was named Best New Actress and Baek Jong Yeol, Best New Director for The Beauty Inside. The Royal Tailor (Best Costume Design and Art Direction), The Tenor Lirico Spinto (Best Music) and The Silenced (Best Lighting) received technical awards.
Kim Soo Hyun and Kong Hyo Jin, who recently co-starred in the TV drama Producers, won the Popularity Awards, though neither had films in the past year. Chinese stars Gao Yuanyaun and Sun Honglei received special awards for Best Foreign Actors. Director Chung Chang Hwa and veteran actor Yoon Il Bong were recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
This year's Daejong Film Awards was noticeably lacking in stars and riddled with controversy. The awards organizer came under fire after earlier stating that only those who attended the ceremony would be able to win, but later retracted the decision when all the Best Actor and Actress nominees announced they could not attend.
Text / Sanwei
Arimura Kasumi and Kora Kengo star in Fuji TV getsuku dramaNovember 20, 2015
The drama follows six young adults who leave their hometowns to try to make their lives in Tokyo. Among them are Sugihara On (Arimura Kasumi) and Soda Neri (Kora Kengo). On has lived in Hokkaido with her adoptive parents since her mother died. Despite a tumultuous childhood, she maintains an optimistic outlook on life, a trait that is severely challenged when her indebted parents reveal their plan to marry her off to a man 20 years her senior. Neri is a working-class boy from Fukushima. He's lived with his grandfather all his life and wants nothing more than to buy a piece of land for both of them to farm and live on. After On and Neri meet by chance in Hokkaido, they each decide to go to Tokyo to pursue their dreams. As they try to get their bearings in the big city, they start to grow closer and closer.
To be directed by Namiki Michiko (Matrimonial Chaos), the drama will begin filming in November and air in January 2016.
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Kiritani Mirei takes on lead role in Sumika Sumire dramaNovember 20, 2015
Born into a strict family of flower growers, Kasaragi Sumi has never been allowed to make friends, and has spent her entire life taking care of her grandmother, father and mother. Before she knows it, she's turned 65, and still has never known love. One day, the cat demon Rei appears in front of her and grants her a wish. After telling Rei that she wants to experience life as a young woman, her body reverts back to that of her 20-year-old self, allowing her to start her life anew as a modern college student.
To be written by Furuya Kazinao (Ouroboros) and directed by Imai Kazuhisa (Team Batista series), Sumika Sumire will air on Asahi TV starting January 2016.
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Japanese adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go announces castNovember 20, 2015
When Hoshina Kyoko, a student at a secluded boarding school, witnesses her classmate Doi Tomohiko being bullied, she steps forward to help, despite fellow student Sakai Miwa's warning for her to stay out of the conflict. After this episode, the three begin to develop a close friendship, one that remains strong when they enter adulthood. However, the now grown-up trio find their relationship growing increasingly complicated when both Kyoko (Ayase Haruka) and Miwa (Mizukawa Asami) develop feelings for Tomohiko (Miura Haruma). All the while, the anticipation of their looming "destiny" weighs heavily on their minds.
Never Let Me Go will be scripted by Morishita Keiko (The Emperor's Cook) and will begin filming in December. The drama is set to air on TBS in January 2016.
Text / Frood
Assassination leads 2015 Blue Dragon Film Award nominationsNovember 11, 2015
Ryoo Seung Wan's crime thriller Veteran and Lee Joon Ik's royal saga The Throne follow closely behind with ten nominations each, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Veteran received Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations for Hwang Jung Min and Yu Hae Jin, while The Throne scored double Best Actor nominations for leads Song Kang Ho and Yoo Ah In. Yoon Je Kyun's sentimental blockbuster Ode to My Father and Kwak Kyung Taek's crime mystery The Classified File round out the nominations for Best Film and Best Director, and Jung Jae Young takes the final spot in the Best Actor shortlist for his performance in Hong Sang Soo's Right Now, Wrong Then.
Jeon Ji Hyun is joined by Kim Hye Su (Coin Locker Girl), Lee Jung Hyun (Alice in Earnestland), Jeon Do Yeon (Shameless) and Han Hyo Ju (The Beauty Inside) in the Best Actress race. For Best Supporting Actor, besides Jo Jin Woong and Yu Hae Jin, Bae Sung Soo (Office), Oh Dal Soo (Ode to My Father) and Lee Kyung Young (The Unfair) are also nominated while Best Supporting Actress nods go to Ra Mi Ran (Ode to My Father), Moon Jung Hee (Cart), Jang Young Nam (The Classified File), Jeon Hye Jin (The Throne) and Jin Kyung (Veteran).
The Best New Actor race is sure to draw eyes with Korean Wave superstar Lee Min Ho (Gangnam Blues) and four popular up-and-coming actors – Kang Ha Neul (Twenty), Park Seo Joon (Chronicles of Evil), Byun Yo Han (Socialphobia) and Choi Woo Sik (Set Me Free) – in the running. AOA's Kim Seol Hyun (Gangnam Blues), Lee Yoo Bi (Twenty), Kwon So Hyun (Madonna), Park So Dam (The Silenced) and Lee Yoo Young (The Treacherous) are nominated for Best New Actress, and Kim Sung Je (The Unfair), Kim Tae Yong (Set Me Free), Lee Byeong Hun (Twenty), Han Jun Hee (Coin Locker Girl) and Hong Seok Jae (Socialphobia) are nominated for Best New Director.
The 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards will be held on November 26 in Seoul.
Text / Sanwei
2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards NominationsNovember 2, 2015
Last year's Best Male Group winner EXO will face off against Big Bang, SHINee, Super Junior, Shinhwa and first-time nominee BTS. Sistar, who has won Best Female Group twice in the last year three years, will seek to hold onto the title against Girls' Generation, AOA, Apink, Wonder Girls and miss A. For Best Male Artist, idol soloists Kyu Hyun, Jung Yong Hwa and Jong Hyun compete with R&B singer Zion.T and veteran Park Jin Young, while BoA, Ailee, Tae Yeon, HyunA and IU, last year's winner, are up for Best Female Artist. Rookie idol groups dominate the Best New Male and Female Artist categories which feature the shortlist of iKON, N.Flying, Monsta X, Seventeen,Up10tion, CLC, Twice, Lovelyz, GFriend and Oh My Girl.
In the Best Vocal Performance categories, SG Wannabe ("Love You"), Zion.T ("Eat"), Kyu Hyun ("At Gwanghwamun"), Lim Chang Jung ("Love Again") and Huh Gak ("Snow of April") are nominated for Male Artists, while Davichi ("Cry Again"), Mamamoo (Um Oh Ah Yeh), Baek A Yeon ("Shouldn't Have"), Ailee ("Mind Your Own Business") and Tae Yeon (I) are nominated for Female Artists. Best Dance Performance is divided into three categories for Male Group (Big Bang's Bang Bang Bang, EXO's Call Me Baby, Got7's "If You Do," VIXX's "Love Equation," SHINee's "View" and Infinite's Bad), Female Group (AOA's "Heart Attack," EXID's Ah Yeah, Girl's Day's "Ring My Bell," Red Velvet's Ice Cream Cake, Sistar's Shake It and 4Minute's "Crazy") and Solo (Gain's Paradise Lost, Niel's "Lovekiller," Park Jin Young's "Who's Your Mama," Amber's Shake That Brass and HyunA's "Roll Deep").
For Best Band Performance, the nominees are CNBLUE (Cinderella), FTIsland (Pray), Nell ("Green Nocturne"), JJY Band (OMG) and this year's indie breakout Hyukoh ("Comes and Goes"). For Best Rap Performance, the nods go to Gary (Get Some Air), Dok2 (I Will), Mad Clown ("Fire"), Jay Park (Mommae) and San E (Me You). Zion. T and Crush, Block B's Bastarz, VIXX LR, So You and Kwon Jeong Yeol, and Infinite H are nominated for Best Collaboration and Unit. Lastly, Big Bang's Bang Bang Bang, f(x)'s 4 Walls, SHINee's Married to the Music, Wonder Girls' I Feel You and Infinite's Bad are nominated for Best Music Video.
One of K-pop's major year-end music award shows, MAMA will be held in Hong Kong for the fourth consecutive year at the AsiaWorld-Expo on December 2.
For more information and online voting, refer to MAMA's official site: http://mama.interest.me.
Text / Sanwei
Crystal Liu and Yang Yang to star in fantasy period romance epicOctober 30, 2015
Considered the go-to actress for ancient drama roles, Crystal Liu plays Bai Qian, a princess from the mystical kingdom of Qing Qiu who ends up in the mortal realm after losing her memory. Fresh off the success of The Left Ear and The Lost Tomb, rising actor Yang Yang plays Ye Hua, a prince of the divine realm who falls in love with Bai Qian, not knowing her true identity, and their love ends in heartrending tragedy. Three hundred years later, Ye Hua encounters Bai Qian again but she no longer remembers him.
Produced by Alibaba Pictures and Ruyi Films, the big-budget epic will be co-directed by Oscar-winning special effects artist Anthony LaMolinara and cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding, who is best known for his work on Zhang Yimou films including Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Flowers of War. Director Zhang Yibai will serve as producer.
Three Lives Three Worlds is scheduled to begin filming in late December.
Text / Sanwei
Yoo Seung Ho makes post-army comeback in new film and TV dramasOctober 28, 2015
Directed by Kim Dae Seung (The Concubine), the period film Joseon Magician stars Yoo as a top magician of the Joseon era who gets drawn into a dangerous romance and sinister conspiracy. Kwak Do Won (The Attorney) co-stars as his rival, the top magician of the Qing Dynasty, while Go Ara (Papa) plays a Joseon princess who is traveling to Qing China for marriage, but falls in love with the hero instead. Also co-starring Jo Yoon Hee, Lee Kyung Young and Park Cheol Min, Joseon Magician opens in Korea on December 15, 2015.
Though Joseon Magician was Yoo's first post-army project, audiences will actually see him first in Imaginary Cat, a webtoon-based cable drama about a stubborn webtoon artist and his cat. Newcomer Cho Hye Jung (Because It's the First Time) and Mamamoo's Solar co-star in the eight-episode series which will air on cable station MBC Every1 in late November.
Yoo will follow in December with the SBS drama Remember, a legal thriller from the writer of blockbuster film The Attorney. He will play a lawyer with extraordinarily detailed memory who is trying to clear his father's name. Park Min Young (Healer) co-stars as his childhood friend/romantic interest, a rookie lawyer unsure about her profession, while Nam Gung Min (The Girl Who Sees Smells) takes on the antagonist role.
Yoo has one more project on the slate: Kim Seon Dal, a period comedy about the eponymous Joseon-era swindler folk hero. Cho Jae Hyun, Yeon Woo Jin, Seo Ye Ji, Ra Mi Ran, Ko Chang Seok and EXO's Xiu Min co-star in the Park Dae Min-directed film which does not yet have a release date.
Text / Sanwei
Kevin Tsai to direct film starring Dee HsuOctober 28, 2015
The film, which will begin production next year, revolves around a glamorous celebrity who is forced to work at a restaurant due to unexpected circumstances. Though she approaches the job half-heartedly at first, she later becomes determined to earn her sommelier certification, winning over the restaurant's chef in the process. Tsai described the protagonist of the comedy as a cute and wild character tailor-made for Hsu.
Text / Sanwei
Nagase Tomoya to star in drama adaptation of FragileOctober 27, 2015
The drama marks the first time Nagase has played a doctor since 2001's Handoku, which co-starred Arashi's Ninomiya Kazunari. Fragile will be written by Hashibe Atsuko (Boku no Ikiru Michi) and Ishikawa Junichi (Legal High), and will air on Fuji TV beginning January 2016.
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Kimura Takuya to team up with Miike Takashi for Blade of the ImmortalOctober 13, 2015
Kimura will play the main character, Manji, a skilled samurai who once murdered 100 men in service of a corrupt warlord, including his sister's husband. After discovering the true nature of his lord and witnessing his sister's death, Manji vows to kill 1000 evil men to atone for his sins. He begins his mission with nary a thought for his own well-being, accruing wound after wound, until he meets a mysterious old woman who grants him immortality by way of sacred bloodworms. As he continues on in his quest, he meets Asano Rin, a young girl whose parents were killed by a group of rival swordsmen. Manji decides to take her under his wing, and together, they embark on a journey to avenge her family.
Blade of the Immortal will begin filming in November 2015 and is set to be released in Japan in 2017.
Text / Frood
Tabe Mikako and Baisho Mitsuko to star in Japanese remake of Miss GrannyOctober 7, 2015
Released in 2014, Miss Granny revolves around a demanding elderly woman who magically transforms into her 20-year-old self after taking a picture at a mysterious photo shop. The original film directed by Hwang Dong Hyuk turned into a massive critical and commercial success, garnering over eight million admissions and multiple Best Actress awards for Shim Eun Kyung. Released in early 2015, Miss Granny's Chinese version 20, Once Again! starring Yang Zishan and Kuei Ya Lei also became a hit in China with box office earnings of 365 million yuan, a new record for Chinese-Korean co-productions. A Chinese television drama adaptation to be produced by Tangren Media has also been announced, and the Vietnamese film remake Sweet 20 will open in December this year.
Like with the previous adaptations, CJ Entertainment collaborates with local companies, including juggernauts Nippon Television and Shochiku and production company C&I Entertainment, with the intention of localizing the story for the Japanese market. CJ Entertainment has also expressed that there are plans to make Thai, Indonesian, Indian and German versions of Miss Granny in the future.
Production for Ayashi Kanojo began in September and the film is slated to open in early 2016.
Text / Sanwei
2015 Golden Horse Award NominationsOctober 5, 2015
Chang Tso Chi's Thanatos, Drunk, the big winner of this year's Taipei Film Awards, is nominated for a total of ten awards, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Leading Actor (Hong Chi Lee, also nominated for Best New Performer), Best Supporting Actor (Jen Shuo Cheng), Best Supporting Actress (Lu Xuefeng) and Best Original Screenplay. Philip Yung's Port of Call rounds out the top three nominees with nine nominations: Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Aaron Kwok), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Ning), Best Supporting Actress (Elaine Jin), Best New Performer (Jessie Li, Michael Ning) and Best Original Screenplay, among others. Also nominated for Best Feature Film are Pema Tseden's Tharlo and Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart, both also nominated for Best Director along with Tsui Hark for The Taking of Tiger Mountain.
Joining Lee Hong Chi and Aaron Kwok in the Best Leading Actor category are Feng Xiaogang (Mr. Six), Deng Chao (The Dead End) and Dong Zijian (De Lan), while Best Leading Actress nominee Shu Qi is joined by Karena Lam (Zinnia Flower), Sylvia Chang (Office), Vivian Sung (Our Times) and Zhao Tao (Mountains May Depart). New-generation actors dominate the Best Supporting Actor category, with Lawrence Ko (Murmur of the Hearts), Michael Chang (The Laundryman), Wang Qianyuan (Saving Mr. Wu) and the aforementioned Cheng Jen Shuo and Michael Ning receiving nods. Meanwhile, the Best Supporting Actress category sees a mix of veterans and newcomers, with Ma Sichun (The Left Ear) and Jian Man Shu (Maverick) being nominated alongside Lu Xuefeng, Elaine Jin and Jiang Wenli (The Master). Finally, youth films make their presence felt in the Best New Director category, with Frankie Chan (Our Times), Xiang Guoqiang (Young Love Lost) and actor-turned-director Alec Su (The Left Ear) earning nominations along with Lee Chung (The Laundryman) and Bi Gan (Kaili Blues).
Text / Frood
Horikita Maki reprises detective role in HiganbanaSeptember 30, 2015
Kinomiya belongs to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's 7th Investigative Division, which focuses on crimes committed by and against women. She works with an eclectic group of women that includes the stubborn Minegishi Yukino (Dan Rei, Roosevelt Game), genius analyst Nagami Kaoruko (Kang Ji Young, Assassination Classroom), Ito Rin (Takanashi Rin, Hanako to Anne), criminal sketch artist Yanagi Sachiko (YOU, Last Doctor) and department chief Segawa Sumire (Daichi Mao, Rich Man, Poor Woman).
Higanbana -Keishicho Sosa Nana-ka- will air on NTV starting January 2016.
Text / Frood
The Way We Were wins Best TV Series at 50th Golden Bell AwardsSeptember 29, 2015
In the Mini-Series/TV Movie section, PTS's medical series Wake Up won Best Mini-Series/TV Movie, Best Directing and Best Supporting Actor for Chris Wu. Kaiser Chuang and Yen Yi Wen, both of whom had double nominations, took home Best Leading Actor and Actress for their roles in PTS "Life Story" movies "The Road Home" and "Angel's Radio," respectively. Chen Qiu Zhen won Best Supporting Actress for "Drifter's Solo Flight."
In the Variety section, Music Viva Viva 3 and its host Mickey Huang swept Best Variety Program and Best Variety Program Host.
Text / Sanwei
Lost in Hong Kong sets opening week recordSeptember 29, 2015
The film set an opening day and single day box office record with receipts of 212 million yuan on its first day. Promptly breaking its own record, Lost continued to gross over 200 million yuan per day over the weekend – 245 million on September 26, 225 million on September 27 – bringing its three-day earnings to 680 million yuan. Despite being a 2D film, Lost in Hong Kong outpaces the opening week record set by period fantasy Monster Hunt, which is currently China's biggest film of all time with a total gross of over 2.43 billion yuan.
Xu Zheng's previous directorial effort Lost in Thailand grossed over 1.2 billion yuan in 2012 and remains the second biggest Chinese film of all time, having only recently been dethroned from the top spot by Monster Hunt. Prior to the film's opening, Xu has stated that his box office target for Lost in Hong Kong is 2 billion yuan.
Co-starring Vicki Zhao, Bao Bei'er and Du Juan, Lost in Hong Kong revolves around the misadventures of a harried married man (played by Xu) who sets out to secretly meet his college sweetheart while vacationing in Hong Kong with his wife and overbearing in-laws. However, his annoying brother-in-law, an aspiring director, decides to tail him with a camera, leading to very long day filled with thrills and mishaps that take the duo all over Hong Kong.
Text / Sanwei