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IU, BTS and EXO win top prizes at 2017 Melon Music Awards

  December 6, 2017  
The 2017 Melon Music Awards were held in Seoul on December 2.

IU won Album of the Year for the first time with Palette and was named Best Songwriter. EXO was crowned Artist of the Year and garnered the Netizen Popularity Award. BTS won Song of the Year for "Spring Day," as well as Best Music Video (DNA) and Global Artist. Wanna One was this year's Best New Artist.

EXO (Ko Ko Bop) and Twice (Knock Knock) prevailed in the Best Dance race. Suran won Best R&B/Soul Song for the chart-topping "Wine" and shared the Hot Trend prize with the song's producer Suga from BTS. Dynamic Duo and EXO's Chen walked away with Best Rap/Hip-Hop Song for "Nosedive." "Sweet Dream" by Super Junior's Hee Chul and Min Kyung Hoon was recognized as the Best Rock Song. Yoon Jong Shin ("Like It") and Apink's Jung Eun Ji ("The Spring") triumphed in the Best Ballad and Best Folk/Blues categories, respectively. Ailee scored a sixth Best OST victory for "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" from the popular drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.

Text / Pisces

BTS, EXO and Twice win top prizes at 2017 MAMA

  December 5, 2017  
The 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards ended its four-day event in Hong Kong on December 1. BTS was named the Artist of the Year and walked away with Best Music Video for the popular "Spring Day." EXO won Album of the Year for the fifth consecutive year, while the subunit EXO-CBX received the Best Asian Style Award. Meanwhile, Twice won Song of the Year for the second straight year with Signal.

Zico retained the Best Male Artist title, while IU was crowned Best Female Artist for the third time. Besides winning Best New Artist with Pristin, Wanna One also emerged victorious in the competitive Best Male Group race. Red Velvet won their first Best Female Group prize.

SHINee's Tae Min (Move) picked up his second Best Dance Performance trophy in the Solo category, while Seventeen ("Don't Wanna Cry") and Twice (Signal) were the winners in the Group category. For the Best Vocal Performance, Heize ("You, Clouds, Rain"), Yoon Jong Shin ("Like It") and Bolbbalgan4 ("Tell Me You Love Me") triumphed in the Group and Solo categories. Heize also won Best Hip-Hop & Urban Music for the chart-topper "Don't Know You."

Hyukoh (Tomboy) came out on top in the Best Band Performance race. Ailee effortlessly took the Best OST award for "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" from the hit drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. "Nosedive" by Dynamic Duo and EXO's Chen was recognizes as the Best Collaboration.

World-famous musicians were honored with special awards. Best Asian Artist awards were presented to Agnez Mo (Indonesia), Lula (Thailand), Aisyah Aziz (Singapore), Tóc Tiên (Vietnam), Karen Mok (China) and AKB48 (Japan). The Inspired Achievement prize went to Japanese musician Akimoto Yasushi, and BTS's groove master Pdogg won Best Producer of the Year.

Text / Pisces

Ryu Seung Ryong & Shim Eun Kyung to star in Train to Busan director's comedy

  November 30, 2017  
Train to Busan director Yeon Sang Ho shifts from zombie horror to comedy for his upcoming feature Psychokinesis. Ryu Seung Ryong (The Piper) and Shim Eun Kyung (Fabricated City), both of whom lent their voices to Yeon's animated film Seoul Station, team up again for the black comedy.

Produced by Next Entertainment World, Psychokinesis follows an ordinary man named Seok Hyun (Ryu Seung Ryong), who finds out that he has the power of psychokinesis. Meanwhile, his daughter Roo Mi (Shim Eun Kyung) miraculously becomes a shop owner but faces the risk of losing her new life. Hence, Seok Hyun uses his psychic powers to save his troubled daughter.

The sci-fi thriller also co-stars Park Jung Min (Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet) as a helpful lawyer, Kim Min Jae (The King) as an intimidating company president and Jung Yoo Mi (Train to Busan) as a profit-minded woman who brings danger to the protagonists.

Psychokinesis finished shooting in August and is now in the post-production stage. It is scheduled to premiere on Netflix in February 2018.

Text / Pisces

A Taxi Driver crowned Best Film at 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards

  November 27, 2017  
Jang Hoon's A Taxi Driver was the biggest winner at the 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards held in Seoul on November 25. The historical action drama won four awards, including Best Film, Best Music and Audience Choice Award for Most Popular Film. Song Kang Ho took his fourth Best Actor prize for his role as a taxi driver who gets involved in a pro-democracy movement.

The Best Director award went to Kim Hyun Seok for the comedy drama I Can Speak, which also picked up Best Actress and the Popular Star Award for Na Moon Hee. The King also garnered three prizes, including Best Supporting Actress for Kim So Jin and Best Editing. Jin Seon Kyu from The Outlaws was named Best Supporting Actor.

EXO's D.O. (My Annoying Brother), who couldn't attend the ceremony due to the group's world tour, was honored with Best New Actor. Choi Hee Seo (Anarchist from Colony) completed her Best New Actress collection with a sixth trophy. Lee Hyun Ju was named Best New Director for the acclaimed indie drama Our Love Story.

The Merciless, which had led with nine nominations, was shut out of the major categories but recognized for its technical efforts with Best Cinematography and Lighting. The period drama The Fortress walked away with Best Screenplay.

Text / Pisces

54th Golden Horse Film Awards Winners

  November 27, 2017  
The 54th Golden Horse Film Awards were held on November 25 in Taipei. Yang Ya Che's The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful won Best Film, as well as Best Actress for Kara Hui and Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Chen. Hui, who plays the scheming matron of a powerful and corrupt family, won Best Actress earlier in the year at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Happiness.

Vivian Qu won Best Director for her second feature Angels Wear White, which played in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Best Actor went to veteran Tu Men for his role as a deadbeat retiree in a provincial Chinese city in Old Beast, which also garnered Best Original Screenplay for writer-director Zhou Ziyang. Taiwan character actor Bamboo Chen was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Alifu, The Prince/ss and Missing Johnny's Rima Zeidan was awarded Best New Performer.

Huang Hsin Yao's The Great Buddha+, which had led with ten nominations, swept five awards: Best New Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Film Music and Best Original Film Song. The Wong Kar Wai-produced See You Tomorrow picked up technical prizes for Visual Effects, Art Direction and Make Up & Costume Design. Other winners include Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield for Best Action Direction, the Giddens Ko's horror drama Mon Mon Mon Monsters for Best Sound Effects, and the documentary Plastic China for Best Editing. Liu Jian's dark comedy Have a Nice Day won the Best Animation Feature prize.

Sound designer Hu Ting Yi, whose filmography includes Strawman, Jump Ashin! and Banana Paradise, was named the Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year. Legendary actress Hsu Feng, who is known for wuxia classics like A Touch of Zen and Dragon Inn, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Text / Sanwei

2017 Melon Music Awards nominations

  November 20, 2017  
Melon Music Awards, one of Korea's major music events, have announced this year's nominees. BTS and EXO will go head to head in six categories, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Dance Song. They will also vie for the Artist of the Year title with the other Top 10 Artists, including Wanna One, Winner, Twice, Red Velvet, IU, Big Bang, Heize and Bolbbalgan4.

BTS seeks to repeat their victory in the Album of the Year race with You Never Walk Alone, competing against EXO (The War), IU (Palette), Big Bang (Made), Akdong Musician (Winter), Heize (/// (You Clouds Rain)), Bolbbalgan4 (Red Diary Page 1), G-Dragon (Kwon Ji Yong), Psy (4x2=8) and Zion.T (OO). Last year's Song of the Year winner Twice is again on the shortlist with the popular Knock Knock. The other contenders are EXO's Ko Ko Bop, BTS's "Spring Day," Winner's Really Really, IU's "Night Letter," Red Velvet's Rookie, Big Bang's "Fxxk It," BLACKPINK's "As If It's Your Last," G-Dragon's "Untitled, 2014," Psy's New Face and Suran's "Wine."

Tae Yeon's Fine, Hwang Chi Yeol's "A Daily Song," Yoon Jong Shin's "Like It," Jung Key's "Anymore" and Jung Seung Hwan's "Fool" are nominated for Best Ballad Song. Best Dance Song nominees include EXO's Ko Ko Bop, BTS's DNA, Twice's Knock Knock, Winner's Really Really, Highlight's "Plz Don't Be Sad," Mamamoo's "Yes I Am," Red Velvet's "Red Flavor," BLACKPINK's "As If It's Your Last," Psy's New Face and Sun Mi's Gashina.

Zico earns nominations in both the Rap/Hip-hop (Bermuda Triangle) and R&B/Soul (She's a Baby) categories. Other notable nominees are Woo Won Jae's "We Are," Mad Clown's "Lost Without You," and "Nosedive" by Dynamic Duo and EXO's Chen in the Rap/Hip-hop category; and Suran's "Wine," G-Dragon's "Untitled, 2014," Sistar's Lonely and Zion.T's "The Song" in the R&B/Soul category.

FTIsland's Wind, Hyukoh's Tomboy, DAY6's "You Were Beautiful," Buzz's "The Love" and "Sweet Dream" by Super Junior's Hee Chul and Buzz's Min Kyung Hoon are shortlisted as Best Rock Song. For Best Folk/Blues Song, nods go to Akdong Musician's "Last Goodbye," 10cm's Phonecert, Jeong Eun Ji's "The Spring," Yoon Ddan Ddan's "The Night I Miss You" and "Spring Again" by GFriend's Ye Rin, Fiestar's Cao Lu and Kisum.

Wanna One and other Produce 101-related newcomers – Chung Ha, Jung Se Woon, Pristin, MXM and Weki Meki – dominate the Best New Artist race, which also features KARD, One, Dreamcatcher and Woo Won Jae from Show Me the Money 6. Ailee will contend for her sixth Best OST trophy with "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" from the sensational drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.

The 2017 Melon Music Awards will be held at the Gocheok Sky Dome on December 2.

Text / Pisces

2017 Kohaku lineup: Twice, Hey! Say! JUMP & Miura Daichi make debuts

  November 16, 2017  
Japan broadcaster NHK has announced the performers for the 2017 edition of its annual Kohaku Uta Gassen New Year's Eve show. This year's lineup features 46 announced acts, including ten artists making their Kohaku debuts.

After debuting this year in Japan with record-setting sales, Twice has become the third ever K-pop girl group to be invited to the Kohaku after Kara and Girl's Generation. Other first-time performers on the red team include girl group Little Glee Monster, band SHISHAMO and enka singer Oka Midori.

Johnny's group Hey! Say! JUMP will join for the first time as a group, though Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri previously participated as members of NYC. Also new on the white team are R&B artist Miura Daichi, actor-musician Takehara Pistol, rock band Elephant Kashimashi, punk band WANIMA and Tortoise Matsumoto, who will participate solo for the first time. The Ulfuls frontman has also revealed that he will have a collaboration stage with Sheena Ringo, who will be making her 29th appearance on the show.

Other returning performers include AKB48 (10th appearance), Arashi (9th), E-girls (5th), Fukuyama Masaharu (10th), Hirai Ken (8th), Hoshino Gen (3rd), Kanjani8 (6th), Keyakizaka46 (2nd), Kuraki Mai (4th), Matsuda Seiko (21st), Nishino Kana (8th), Nogizaka46 (3rd), Perfume (3rd), Sandaime J Soul Brothers (6th), Sekai no Owari (4th), Sexy Zone (5th), Superfly (2nd), Tokio (24th), X Japan (8th) and Yuzu (8th). Show producers indicated that offers are also out to Kuwata Keisuke and Amuro Namie.

Arashi's Ninomiya Kazunari and actress Arimura Kasumi, the star of NHK morning drama Hiyokko, will be the hosts for the white and red teams, respectively. This is Arimura's second consecutive year in the role.

An annual tradition since 1951, the Kohaku Uta Gassen ("The Red and White Song Battle") features Japan's most popular musical acts (split into red and white teams) in a friendly competition that involves performing hit songs for viewer votes. The Kohaku remains one of the highest-rated television programs on Japanese television, and the preferred New Year's Eve pastime for most Japanese families. The show can also have significant impact on music sales, as certain songs experience an increase in sales after being exposed to a nationwide audience on the show.

Text / Sanwei

Cast announced for 2018 Meteor Garden remake

  November 13, 2017  
Sixteen years after the broadcast of the classic Taiwan TV drama Meteor Garden, a new Chinese remake based on the manga Hana Yori Dango has been announced. The show's original producer Angie Chai confirmed the remake earlier in the year, and the newcomer cast and their roles were recently revealed in the production's first press conference.

Aired in 2001, the original Meteor Garden became a bonafide phenomenon throughout East Asia. The series' success established Taiwan's idol drama genre and launched then newcomers Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu and Ken Chu into overnight stardom. The four were so popular, they continued to use the name F4 as a pop group after the drama. Hana Yori Dango was subsequently adapted into TV dramas in Japan, China and Korea, all of which were also big hits and star-making vehicles.

With every adaptation of the campus romance story, the greatest attention usually falls on the casting of F4, the four rich and handsome students who rule the school. Like in the original 2001 series, the members of the new F4 are newcomers: 19-year-old Dylan Wang as Dao Ming Si (Domyoji Tsukasa), 22-year-old Darren Chen as Hua Ze Lei (Hanazawa Rui), 23-year-old Connor Leong as Mei Zuo (Mimasaka Akira), and 21-year-old Caesar Wu as Xi Men (Nishikado Sojiro). 20-year-old rookie actress Shen Yue plays the poor and spunky heroine Shan Cai (Makino Tsukushi) who dares to challenge F4. The five leads were cast from a pool of 30,000 candidates after auditions and workshops. Darren Chen is from Taipei while the other four are from mainland China.

Hsu Fu Hsiang, the Golden Bell-winning director of The Way We Were, is directing the 2018 version of Meteor Garden.

Text / Sanwei

The Merciless leads 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards

  November 6, 2017  
Nominations for the 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards were recently revealed. Director Byun Sung Hyun's gangster thriller The Merciless leads with nine nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Film Editing. Han Jae Rim's The King and Jang Hoon's A Taxi Driver, which follow closely with eight nominations each, complete the Best Film race along with Lee Joon Ik's Anarchist from Colony and Hwang Dong Hyuk's The Fortress. Kim Hyun Seok picked up a Best Director nom for the heartwarming comedy I Can Speak.

Lee Byung Hun seeks his second win in the Best Actor category, which also includes his The Fortress partner Kim Yoon Seok, Sol Kyung Gu (The Merciless), Song Kang Ho (A Taxi Driver) and Jo In Sung (The King). Best Actress nods go to Gong Hyo Jin (Missing), Kim Ok Bin (The Villainess), Na Moon Hee (I Can Speak), Yeom Jung Ah (The Mimic) and Moon So Ri (The Running Actress), who is also recognized in the Best New Director category for the self-directed comedy. The remaining New Director nominees are Kang Yoon Sung (The Outlaws), Lee Joo Young (A Single Rider), Lee Hyun Ju (Our Love Story) and Cho Hyun Hoon (Jane).

Following their victories at the Daejong Film Awards, Bae Sung Woo and Kim So Jin will again compete in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress races against Kim Dae Myung (Bluebeard), Kim Hee Won (The Merciless), Jeon Hye Jin (The Merciless), Jin Seon Kyu (The Outlaws), Kim Hae Sook (New Trial), Yum Hye Ran (I Can Speak) and Lee Jung Hyun (The Battleship Island).

Lee Min Ji and Koo Gyo Hwan from Jane, Lee Sang Hee (Our Love Story), Lee Soo Kyung (Yongsoon) and Im Yoon Ah (Confidential Assignment) will vie for the Best New Actress title against Anarchist from Colony's breakout star Choi Hee Seo, who won Best Actress and Best New Actress at the Daejong Film Awards. Kim Joon Han (Anarchist from Colony), Nam Yeon Woo (Lost to Shame), EXO's D.O. (My Annoying Brother) and Ryu Jun Yeol (A Taxi Driver) are in the New Actor category.

The 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards will be held in Seoul on November 25.

Text / Garden
Translation / Pisces

Anarchist from Colony and Taxi Driver win at 54th Daejong Film Awards

  October 27, 2017  
Lee Joon Ik's period drama Anarchist from Colony swept the 54th Daejong Film Awards held in Seoul on October 25. The biographical drama about the life of revolutionary activist Park Yeol won five awards, including Best Director for Lee Joon Ik. Choi Hee Seo was crowned both Best Actress and Best New Actress for her first leading role as the activist's Japanese lover.

A Taxi Driver, Jang Hoon's blockbuster drama about the Gwangju Uprising, was named Best Film. Sol Kyung Gu, who plays a cruel inmate leader in The Merciless, became this year's Best Actor. Bae Sung Woo and Kim So Jin from The King triumphed in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories. The political crime thriller also picked up Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

TV star Park Seo Joon came in first in the Best New Actor race for the action comedy Midnight Runners. Um Tae Hwa received Best New Director for the fantasy romance Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned, which also won Best Music. Veteran actress Kim Young Ae was recognized with the Special Award.

Text / Pisces

Chihayafuru 3 to open in March 2018

  October 24, 2017  
In 2016, Suetsugu Yuki's popular award-winning manga series Chihayafuru was adapted into two live-action films that opened a month apart. Directed by Koizumi Norihiro, the two films starred Hirose Suzu as a high school girl immersed in the world of competitive karuta, a traditional Japanese card game. The release date for the third and final film of the series has been announced for March 17, 2018.

Besides Hirose as heroine Ayase Chihaya, Arata Mackenyu and Nomura Shuhei reprise as her childhood friends Arata, who first brought her into karuta before moving away, and Taichi, who continues to compete by her side. Other returning main cast members include Matsuoka Mayu as Chihaya's rival and Kamishiraishi Mone, Yamoto Yuma and Morinanga Yuki as the fellow members of her high school karuta club. Sano Hayato (Have a Song On Your Lips), Kiyohara Kaya (March Comes in Like a Lion), Yuki Mio (Assassination Classroom) and Kaku Kento (Paradise Kiss) join the cast as other karuta players.

Set two years after the events of the second film, Chihayafuru Part 3 follows the protagonists, who are now seniors, for their last high school national tournament. As Chihaya strives to reach the top of her game, she must also navigate her ambiguous relationship triangle with Arata and Taichi.

Text / Sanwei

2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards nominations

  October 24, 2017  
Nominations for the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) were announced on October 19.

New sensation Wanna One, who debuted in August this year, breaks into the Best Male Group race and will go head to head with strong competitors including EXO, BTS, GOT7, Seventeen and NU'EST W. Last year's Best Female Group winner Twice strives for their second victory in the category, which also includes BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, Mamamoo and GFriend. Zico will defend his Best Male Artist title against G-Dragon, Zion.T, PSY and Jong Shin Yoon. Two-time Best Female Artist winner Tae Yeon is again shortlisted for the prize along with IU, Sun Mi, Suzy and Heize. The Produce 101 effect is strong in the Best New Male and Female Artist categories, which feature Wanna One, Samuel, Jeong Se Woon, The EastLight, Pristin, Weki Meki and Chung Ha, as well as Golden Child, Dream Catcher and Momoland.

In the Best Vocal Performance categories, Zion.T ("The Song"), Jong Shin Yoon ("Like It"), Jung Seung Hwan ("The Fool"), Han Dong Geun ("Crazy") and Hwang Chi Yeul ("A Daily Song") are nominated for Male Artists; IU ("Through the Night"), Suran ("If I Get Drunk Today"), Heize ("You, Clouds, Rain"), Gugudan's Se Jeong ("Flower Way") and Apink's Jeong Eun Ji ("The Spring") for Female Artists; and Winner (Really Really), Mamamoo ("Yes I Am"), Bolbbalgan4 ("Tell Me You Love Me"), BTOB ("Missing You") and Highlight (Calling You) for Groups.

Best Dance Performance is also divided into three categories for Male Group (EXO's Ko Ko Bop, NCT 127's Cherry Bomb, Monsta X's "Beautiful," BTS's DNA, VIXX's "Shangri-La" and Seventeen's "Don't Wanna Cry"), Female Group (Apink's Five, Twice's Signal, Red Velvet's "Red Flavor," Girl's Generation's Holiday and GFriend's "Love Whisper") and Solo (Sun Mi's Gashina, PSY's New Face, Lee Hyo Ri's Black, Tae Min's Move and HyunA's Babe).

For Best Band Performance, the nominees are CNBLUE ("Between Us"), DAY6 ("I Smile"), FTIsland (Wind), Buzz ("The Love") and Hyukoh Tomboy). Dean's "Come Over," Mad Clown's "Lost without You," Woo Won Jae's "We Are," Zico's Artist and Heize's "Don't Know You" received the Best HipHop & Urban Music nominations. For Best Collaboration, nods go to "Nosedive" by Dynamic Duo and EXO's Chen , "Most Hated" by Jay Park and Dok2, "Rain" by So You and EXO's Baek Hyun, "Can't Love You Anymore" by IU and Oh Hyuk, and Blue Moon by Hyo Rin and Changmo.

The Best Music Video race features the shortlist of EXO's Power, Twice's Signal, Wanna One's Energetic, BTS's "Spring Day" and Seventeen's "Don't Wanna Cry." Songs from the hit drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, namely Ailee's "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow," Crush's Beautiful and Stay with Me by EXO's Chan Yeol and Punch, dominate the Best OST category, which also includes Bolbbalgan4's "You and I from the Beginning" (Ruler: Master of the Mask) and Suzy's I Love You Boy (While You Were Sleeping).

This year, the annual music award show will be divided into multiple events held in three regions over four days: Vietnam on November 25, Japan on November 29, and Hong Kong on November 30 and December 1.

For more information and online voting, refer to MAMA's official site: https://mama.interest.me.

Text / Pisces

Kimura Takuya takes on first police role in Higashino Keigo adaptation

  October 18, 2017  
Kimura Takuya and Nagasawa Masami will collaborate for the first time in the film adaptation of Higashino Keigo's 2011 mystery novel Masquerade Hotel.

Masquerade Hotel, which has sold over 2.75 million copies, is set at a Tokyo luxury hotel in which a series of foretold murders occur. Kimura, who has played a prosecutor, pilot, doctor and even prime minister in his varied career, will take on his first police role as Kosuke Nitta, the detective in charge of the serial murder case. He goes undercover by posing as hotel staff and teams up with receptionist Yamagishi Naomi, played by Nagasawa, to solve the mystery.

Masquerade Hotel reteams Kimura with Hero series director Suzuki Masayuki, while Liar Game series writer Okada Michitaka serves as the screenwriter. The film is expected to open in Japan in 2019.

Text / tabo
Translation / Sanwei

Winners of 10th Korea Drama Awards

  October 6, 2017  
The Korea Drama Awards, one of the main events of the Korea Drama Festival, held their tenth anniversary ceremony in Jinju on October 2.

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God emerged victorious with five prizes, including Best Drama, Best New Actor and Star of the Year Award for BTOB's Yook Sung Jae, and Popular Character Awards for Kim Byung Chul and Park Kyung Hye. The second biggest winner Ruler: Master of the Mask followed closely with four awards including Best Drama, Best Screenplay for Park Hye Jin, the Excellence Award for Jeon No Min and the KDA Award for Hur Jun Ho.

Veteran Kim Sang Joong was honored the Grand Prize for playing a slave fighting for freedom in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People. Kim Ji Suk and Honey Lee from the historical drama were on the winner list for the Top Excellence Award, which also included Kwon Yool (Whisper). Good Manager director Lee Jang Soo walked away with Best Director while Lee Il Hwa won the Excellence Award for her performance in the workplace romcom. Other Excellence Award winners include Min Jin Woong (My Father Is Strange) and Song Ha Yoon (Fight for My Way). Rapper DinDin's Must Be the Money from the soundtrack of Good Manager was chosen as Best Original Soundtrack.

Apart from Yook Sung Jae, Ko Won Hee from Strongest Deliveryman was also named Best New Actor. Jung Young Sook (Dal Soon's Spring) received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Text / Pisces

54th Golden Horse Awards Nominations

  October 3, 2017  
Nominations for the 54th Golden Horse Awards were recently revealed. Taiwan documentary filmmaker Huang Hsin Yao's The Great Buddha+ grabbed ten nominations including Best Feature Film, Best New Director, Best Supporting Actor for Leon Dai, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects, Best Original Film Music Award and Best Original Film Song Award. Gilles Yang's The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful, Sylvia Chang's Love Education and Wong Kar Wai's See You Tomorrow follow with seven nominations each. Love Education, The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful, Chinese director Vivian Qu's Angels Wear White and Geng Jun's Free and Easy received nods in Best Feature Film and Best Director. Ann Hui will seek her fourth Best Director trophy for her wartime historical drama Our Time Will Come.

Kara Hui, a three-time Best Actress winner at Hong Kong Film Awards, is shortlisted for the top acting prize at the Golden Horse Awards for the first time for her performance in The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful. The actress will be competing against Sylvia Chang (Love Education), Shu Qi (The Village of No Return), Wen Qi (Angels Wear White) and Ivy Yin (The Island That All Flow By). Takeshi Kaneshiro (See You Tomorrow) earned the first Best Actor nomination of his 28-year career. Other Best Actor nominees include Kaiser Chuang (Who Killed Cock Robin), Huang Bo (The Conformist), Tu Men (Old Beast) and Tian Zhuangzhuang (Love Education).

Best Actress nominee Wen Qi (Angels Wear White) is also in the Best Supporting Actress race against Deanie Ip (Our Time Will Come), Tiffany Hsu (The Tag-Along 2), Chen Shiang Chyi (The Receptionist) and Wu Yan Shu (Love Education). Mason Lee (Who Killed Cock Robin) will go head to head with heavyweight Tony Leung Ka Fai (Our Time Will Come), Leon Dai (The Great Buddha+), Bamboo Chen (Alifu) and Lei Jiayin (Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield) for Best Supporting Actor.

Apart from Huang Hsin Yao (The Great Buddha+), rookie filmmakers Chen Sheng Ji (Shuttle Life), Huang Xi (Missing Johnny), Zhou Ziyang (Old Beast) and Chan Ching Lin (The Island of River Flow) are also nominated as Best New Director. Rima Zeidan (Missing Johnny), Kent Tsai (All Because of Love), Elaine Zhong (Youth), Zhang Aoyue (The Hidden Sword) and Wu Nien Hsuan (The Tag-Along 2) complete the Best New Performer category.

Sound engineer Hu Ding Yi is this year's Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker and veteran actress Feng Hsu will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 54th Golden Horse Awards will be held in Taipei on November 25.

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Translation / Pisces

52nd Golden Bell Awards Winners

  October 3, 2017  
The 52nd Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan's premier television awards ceremony, was held on September 30 in Taipei. Awards were fairly evenly distributed this year with several major winners. Qseries suspense drama Close Your Eyes Before It's Dark won Best Television Serial, as well as Best Supporting Actress for Sun Ke Fang and Best Sound.

Veterans were recognized in the acting categories with Best Actor going to Liu De Kai (Never Forget Then), Best Actress to Ke Shu Qin (Love in Sandstorm) and Best Supporting Actor to You An Shun (Abula). Hsu Chao Jen, director of the family series Family Time), won for Best Directing in a Television Serial.

The Teenage Psychic came out on top in the Best Mini-Series category and won Best Supporting Actress for Nana Lee. The Last Verse, however, received the most accolades, sweeping Best Actor and Actress for Fu Meng Po and Jenny Wen, Best Editing and Art Direction. She's Family's Tsai Chen Nan received the Best Supporting Actor prize. The Long Goodbye won Best TV Movie, Best Cinematography and Best Directing in a Mini-Series/TV Movie. Qseries sitcom Love in a Sandstorm's Chen Yu and PTS Life Story movie An Angel at My Table's Lin Yu Ting were awarded the Best Newcomer prizes.

In the Variety section, Just Dance won Best Variety Program and 100% Entertainment's Show Luo and Linda Chien were named the Best Variety Program Hosts. Director Lin Fu Ti was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Text / Sanwei

Jang Dong Gun & Park Hyung Sik play lawyers in Korean remake of Suits

  September 28, 2017  
Five years after A Gentleman's Dignity, Jang Dong Gun announces his TV drama comeback with the upcoming Korean remake of popular American legal drama Suits. Park Hyung Sik (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon) will co-star alongside the actor in the drama adapted by director Kim Jin Woo (Queen of Mystery) and rookie screenwriter Kim Jung Min.

The original Suits started airing in 2011 and has run for seven seasons. In the Korean version, Park Hyung Sik will play Go Yeon Woo, a university dropout with a remarkable memory. He runs into top lawyer Choi Kyung Seo (Jang Dong Gun) and accidentally obtains a job interview. Impressed by Yeon Woo's profound knowledge of law, Kyung Seo decides to hire him as his law associate despite his lack of a license. The two work together on different cases while keeping Yeon Woo's identity a secret.

The Korean version of Suits is scheduled to broadcast on KBS in 2018.

Text / Pisces

EXO & Twice win top prizes at 1st Soribada Best K-Music Awards

  September 22, 2017  
Soribada, one of the major digital music platforms in Korea, held its first music awards on September 20, 2017, in Seoul. Based on music releases launched from September 2016 to August 2017, winners were selected through online voting and ratings from the judging panel and critics.

The biggest winner EXO garnered three awards including the Grand Prize, Main Prize and Popularity Award. The Digital Grand Prize went to Twice, who also won the Main Prize. Other Main Prize winners include GFriend, B.A.P, Mamamoo, T-ara, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeol, Monsta X, Red Velvet and VIXX.

BTS, who didn't attend the ceremony, received the Artist Award and gave their acceptance speech through a video. Popular newcomer Wanna One took their first Rookie Award together with Pentagon, as well as the Rising Hot Star Award along with Cosmic Girls. NCT 127 and Gugudan emerged victorious in the Performance category.

Ailee gained her third OST Award with "I Will Go to You Like the First Snow" from the soundtrack of sensational drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. Han Dong Geun was recognized for his vocal performance. Tae Jin Ah and Hong Jin Young walked away with the Trot Awards. Songwriting duo Leegi Yongbae, who has created songs for GFriend, Pristin and Astro, picked up the Producer Award. Singer-songwriter Eru was honored with the Global Career Achievement Award.

Text / Pisces

Amuro Namie announces decision to retire in September 2018

  September 21, 2017  
On September 20, 2017, her 40th birthday, J-pop diva Amuro Namie shocked the Japanese entertainment industry and music fans by announcing her intention to retire in the coming year. In a message posted on her official website, the singer, who just celebrated the 25th anniversary of her debut the past Saturday, stated that she would retire on September 16, 2018.

Amuro first made her debut in 1992 at the age of 14 in the short-lived idol group Super Monkey's. She made her solo debut three years later with the platinum-selling single Taiyo no Season, and soon moved labels to Avex where she has remained since. Known for dance, pop, EDM and R&B music, Amuro has proven to be an enduringly popular pop artist and style icon in Japan, with a significant overseas following as well. One of Japan's top-selling female artists of all time, she has sold over 30 million records, and has multiple million-selling albums and singles to her name. Her most recent release is the single Just You and I in May.

As stated in her announcement, Amuro will remain active in the last year of her music career by focusing her "full attention on creating a final album and performing at concerts."

Text / Sanwei

31st Golden Rooster Awards

  September 21, 2017  
China's 31st Golden Rooster Awards were held on September 16, 2017. Operation Mekong, Dante Lam's crime action blockbuster about Chinese anti-narcotics agents fighting a drug cartel in the Golden Triangle, was crowned Best Film at the biannual award ceremony. Following wins at the Golden Horse and Asian Film Awards, Feng Xiaogang's satirical comedy-drama I Am Not Madame Bovary garnered him another Best Director prize, as well as Best Actress for Fan Bingbing. Deng Chao won Best Actor for his role in Cao Baoping's crime drama The Dead End.

I Am Not Madame Bovary's Yu Hewei shared Best Supporting Actor honors with Wang Qianyuan, who played a kidnapper in the crime thriller Saving Mr. Wu. Meanwhile, veteran Wu Yanshu won Best Supporting Actress for Relocate. Actor-turned-director Wen Zhang's romantic comedy When Larry Met Mary was named the Best Directorial Debut, and Guan Hu's Mr. Six won for Best Screenplay.

Technical prizes were spread out amongst Bangzi Melody (Cinematography), Chongqing Hot Pot (Sound Recording), The Wasted Times (Art Direction), Saving Mr. Wu (Editing) and Cairo Declaration (Music). Pema Tseden's Tharlo and Degena Yun's A Simple Goodbye were recognized as the Best Low-Budget Features.

Text / Sanwei

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