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Eve starring Seo Yea Ji, Park Byung Eun & Lee Sang Yeob premieres in June

  May 23, 2022  
The tvN drama Eve starring Seo Yea Ji (It's Okay to Not Be Okay), Park Byung Eun (Lost), Yoo Sun (Move to Heaven) and Lee Sang Yeob (Once Again) is scheduled to premiere on June 1. The Korean romance and revenge drama is directed by Park Bong Seop (The Uncanny Counter) and written by Yoon Young Mi (The Good Witch).

Eve follows Lee Ra El (Seo Yea Ji) who has prepared a revenge plan for 13 years to avenge her late father. She becomes the center of attention for being involved in the $2 trillion won divorce lawsuit of Korea's top chaebol couple. Park Byung Eun takes the role of Kang Yoon Gyeom, the CEO of LY Group who was faithful to his family and work until he encounters Lee Ra El.

Yoo Sun plays Kang Yoon Gyeom's wife Han So Ra, whose father is a powerful figure in the political world. Lee Sang Yeob plays Seo Eun Pyeong who grew up as an orphan and successfully becomes the youngest member of the National Assembly. He is willing to give up everything for love.

Text / Violet

Kore-eda Hirokazu & Park Chan Wook films in competition at Cannes

  May 19, 2022  
The 75th Cannes Film Festival is under way from May 17 to 28, 2022. Two high-profile Asian films are set to premiere in the main competition at the fest: Kore-eda Hirokazu's Broker and Park Chan Wook's Decision to Leave.

Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu, who won the Palme d'Or in 2018 for the Shoplifters, presents his first Korean-language film Broker. The human drama revolves around various characters who meet because of a "baby box," a safe drop-off point for people to anonymously give up newborns. In the film, Song Kang Ho (Parasite) and Kang Dong Won (Peninsula) play brokers who find parents for abandoned babies in the black market, while Bae Doo Na, who starred in Kore-eda's 2009 film Air Doll, plays a police detective pursuing them. Singer-actor IU (Shades of the Heart) plays the mother of a "baby box" baby who unexpectedly joins the two brokers on their trip to meet prospective new parents.

Returning with his first film since 2016's Handmaiden, Korean auteur Park Chan Wook works with Park Hae Il (The Fortress) and Chinese actress Tang Wei (Lust, Caution) for the romantic mystery thriller Decision to Leave. Tang Wei plays a woman suspected of murdering her husband, while Park Hae Il is the detective who becomes drawn to her during the investigation. Lee Jung Hyun (Peninsula), Go Kyung Pyo (Coin Locker Girl) and Park Yong Woo (Late Spring) also appear in the film.

After the Cannes Film Festival, Kore-eda Hirokazu's Broker will open in South Korea on June 8 and in Japan on June 24. Park Chan Wook's Decision to Leave will open in South Korea on June 29.

Text / Sanwei

Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun & Hwang In Youp's The Sound of Magic out on May 6

  May 3, 2022  
Over a year after Lovestruck in the City, Ji Chang Wook stars in another Netflix Korean series, The Sound of Magic, alongside Choi Sung Eun (Beyond Evil) and Hwang In Youp (True Beauty). The fantasy music drama is adapted from the webtoon Annarasumanara by Ha Il Kwon, who also created God of Bath.

Six years after Love in the Moonlight, director Kim Seong Yoon and writer Kim Min Jung collaborate again for The Sound of Magic, which tells a fantasy story about a girl (played by Choi Sung Eun) who lost her dream, a boy (played by Hwang In Youp) who is forced to dream, and a mysterious magician (played by Ji Chang Wook) who is a child at heart. The three characters comfort each other and grow up at their own pace.

The Sound of Magic will be released on Netflix on May 6.

Text / Violet

Aiba Masaki in new horror film directed by Nakata Hideo

  April 30, 2022  
Arashi member Aiba Masaki returns to the silver screen in the horror suspense Sore ga Iru Mori from Ring director Nakata Hideo. This marks Aiba's first feature film since 2014's Miracle: Devil Claus' Love and Magic. Sore ga Iru Mori, which means "The Forest with 'It'" in Japanese, is an original story written by Brazili Ann Yamada (Stigmatized Properties) and Oishi Tetsuya (Usogui, Stolen Identity).

Aiba plays Tanaka Junichi who runs a farm by himself in a rural town. One day, his son Kazuya (Johnny's Jr. member Uehara Kenshin), who lives in Tokyo with his ex-wife (Eguchi Noriko), suddenly shows up to stay with him for a while. Soon after, mysterious phenomena begin to occur in the nearby forest. Junichi's town is also shaken by a series of suspicious deaths and disappearances. Then Junichi and Kazuya encounter the mysterious "it" in the forest. Matsumoto Honoka from Love Like the Falling Petals also appears in the film as Kazuya's homeroom teacher.

Sore ga Iru Mori will open in Japan on September 30.

Text / Sanwei

Sailor Moon Cosmos two-part film to open summer 2023

  April 29, 2022  
A two-part Sailor Moon feature film titled Sailor Moon Cosmos has been announced for early summer 2023. The announcement was made on April 28 during a special program commemorating the 30th anniversary of Takeuchi Naoko's Sailor Moon manga series. A poster visual and teaser trailer for Sailor Moon Cosmos have also been revealed.

A sequel to Sailor Moon Eternal released in 2021, Sailor Moon Cosmos is based on the Shadow Galactica arc, the final chapter of the Sailor Moon series. Faced with the overwhelming threat of the Shadow Galactica, the lone Sailor Guardians throw themselves into battle.

Sailor Moon Cosmos is supervised by Takeuchi Naoko, directed by Takahashi Tomoya (Sekaiichi Hatsukoi -Propose Hen-), and written by Fudeyasu Kazuyuki (Sailor Moon Eternal).

Text / Sanwei

Squid Game & Escape from Mogadishu lead 58th Baeksang Arts Awards nominations

  April 12, 2022  
Nominees for the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards were announced on April 11. Acclaimed Netflix series Squid Game and blockbuster action movie Escape from Mogadishu lead with eight and seven nominations, respectively.

In the TV section, Squid Game received eight nominations, including Best Drama, Best Director (Hwang Dong Hyuk), Best Screenplay (Hwang Dong Hyuk), Best Actor (Lee Jung Jae), Best Supporting Actor (Heo Sung Tae), Best Supporting Actress (Kim Joo Ryoung), Best New Actress (Jung Ho Yeon) and Technical Award. MBC's historical melodrama The Red Sleeve follows with seven nominations, including Best Drama, Best Director (Jung Ji In), Best Actor (Lee Jun Ho), Best Actress (Lee Se Young), Best Supporting Actor (Lee Deok Hwa), Best Supporting Actress (Jang Hye Jin) and Technical Award.

Netflix's D.P. is nominated for Best Drama, Best Director (Han Jun Hee), Best Actor (Jung Hae In) and Best New Actor (Koo Kyo Hwan and Shin Seung Ho). Wavve's Political Fever is nominated in major categories like Best Drama, Best Director (Yoon Sung Ho), Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Lee Hak Joo). tvN's Mine also obtained four nominations: Best Director (Lee Na Jung), Best Screenplay (Baek Mi Kyung), Best Supporting Actor and Actress (Lee Hyun Wook and Ok Ja Yeon). Netflix's Juvenile Justice will compete for Best Screenplay, Best Actress (Kim Hye Soo) and Best New Actress (Lee Yeon), while tvN's recent hit Twenty-Five Twenty-One is nominated for Best Drama, Best Actress (Kim Tae Ri) and Best New Actor (Choi Hyun Wook). All of Us Are Dead's Yoo In Soo, Lee Yoo Mi and Cho Yi Hyun are nominees of Best New Actor and Actress. SBS's Our Beloved Summer secured a spot in the Best Screenplay race.

In the Film section, Escape from Mogadishu scored nine nominations in seven categories, including Best Film, Best Director (Ryoo Seung Wan), Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Kim Yoon Seok), Best Supporting Actor (Koo Kyo Hwan and Heo Joon Ho), Best Supporting Actress (Kim So JIn and Kim Jae Hwa) and Technical Award. Kingmaker also received eight nominations in six categories, including Best Film, Best Director (Byun Sung Hyun), Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Sol Kyung Gu and Lee Sun Kyun), Best Supporting Actor (Jo Woo Jin) and Technical Award (Cinematography and Art Direction).

Romance Without Love is nominated in the Best Film, Best Director (Jeong Ga Young) and Best Screenplay categories, as well as Best Actress for Jeon Jong Seo who looks to repeat the title for the second consecutive year. Miracle: Letters to the President is nominated for Best Film, Best Director (Lee Jang Hoon), Best Actress (Lim Yoona) and Best Supporting Actress (Lee Soo Kyung).

Perhaps Love and In Our Prime each gained four nominations, with the former getting nominated in two major categories – Best Director (Park Dong Hoon) and Best Screenplay. Documentary Sewing Sisters completes the Best Film shortlist.

Jung Woo (Hot Blooded) and Choi Min Sik (In Our Prime) join Kim Yoon Seok, Sol Kyung Gu and Lee Seon Kyun in the Best Actor race, while Jeon Jong Seo and Lim Yoona are up against Go Doo Shim (Everglow), Park So Dam (Special Cargo) and Lee Hye Young (In Front of Your Face) for Best Actress.

Text / Violet

Shinkai Makoto's new film Suzume no Tojimari to open on November 11

  April 12, 2022  
Your Name and Weathering With You director Shinkai Makoto's new feature-length animated film Suzume no Tojimari will open in Japan on November 11. Besides the announcement of the film's release date, a teaser trailer of the animated fantasy has also been revealed.

Written and directed by Shinkai Makoto, Suzume no Tojimari follows the titular heroine Suzume, a 17-year-old girl from a quiet town in Kyushu. She meets a young man traveling in search of a door, and joins him. They find an abandoned door amid ruins in the mountains. Drawn to the door, Suzume reaches for the knob. Soon, "doors of disaster" begin to appear in different parts of Japan. Suzume sets out on a journey to find and close the doors to prevent further disaster and misfortune.

Suzume no Tojimari features character design by Tanaka Masayoshi, animation direction by Tsuchiya Kenichi, and art direction by Tanji Takumi, the same team behind Your Name.

Text / Sanwei

Lee Byung Hun, Shin Min Ah, Han Ji Min & Kim Woo Bin's Our Blues premieres April 9

  March 31, 2022  
Four years after Live, acclaimed screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung and director Kim Kyu Tae collaborate again for the tvN and Netflix series Our Blues! The drama is led by a star-studded cast including Lee Byung Hun (Mr. Sunshine), Shin Min Ah (Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha), Han Ji Min (The Light in Your Eyes), Kim Woo Bin (Uncontrollably Fond), Cha Seung Won (One Ordinary Day), Lee Jung Eun (Juvenile Justice) and Uhm Jung Hwa (You Are Too Much).

Our Blues is an omnibus drama series capturing stories of different people in Jeju Island. Lee Byung Hun takes the role of the forty-something Lee Dong Seok who makes a living by selling things from his truck. He meets Min Seon Ah (played by Shin Min Ah), a woman who left Seoul for Jeju due to family problems. Kim Woo Bin plays ship captain Park Jung Joon who falls in love with bright diver Lee Young Ok (played by Han Ji Min). Cha Seung Won plays Choi Han Soo who returns to his hometown of Jeju and encounters Jung Eun Hee (played by Lee Jung Eun), a cheerful woman who runs a fish store. Uhm Jung Hwa stars as Go Mi Ran, Jung Eun Hee's best friend who has gone through three marriages.

Our Blues is slated to premiere on April 9 after the end of Twenty-Five Twenty-One.

Text / Violet

Drive My Car wins Best International Feature Film Oscar

  March 28, 2022  
Hamaguchi Ryusuke's Drive My Car won Best International Feature Film Oscar at the 94th Academy Awards held on March 27. It is the second Japanese film to win the prize after Departures in 2008.

Based on Murakami Haruki's same-titled short story from Men Without Women, Drive My Car stars Nishijima Hidetoshi as a theater director whose road trip with a quiet driver (played by Miura Toko) gradually reveals the depth of his relationship with his late wife. The film exploring love, loss, sexuality and creativity has been a sensation in the international circuit, picking up many accolades along the way.

Drive My Car swept eight awards at the 45th Japan Academy Prize earlier this month. It was also named Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards, and Best Film by the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Society of Film Critics.

Text / Sanwei

Lee Min Ki & Kim Ji Won star in My Mister writer's new drama My Liberation Notes

  March 15, 2022  
Four years after the acclaimed My Mister, screenwriter Park Hae Young partners up with The Light in Your Eyes director Kim Suk Yoon and returns with the new work My Liberation Notes. Lee Min Ki (The Beauty Inside), Kim Ji Won (Fight For My Way), Son Seok Koo (D.P.) and Lee El (Matrimonial Chaos) lead the upcoming JTBC series.

My Liberation Diary is a drama that delivers warm comfort at the end of an exhausting day through the story of three siblings and a stranger. Lee Min Ki, Kim Ji Won and Lee El play middle child Yeom Chang Hee, the youngest sibling Yeom Mi Jung and the first-born Yeom Ki Jung, respectively. Together with mysterious stranger Mr. Koo (Son Seok Koo), they try to find a way out in their boring, ordinary daily lives that seem to have no end.

My Liberation Notes is slated to air on April 9 after the end of Forecasting Love and Weather.

Text / Violet

Drive My Car sweeps 8 awards at 45th Japan Academy Prize

  March 14, 2022  
The 45th Japan Academy Prize was held on March 11. Hamaguchi Ryusuke's Oscar-nominated picture Drive My Car swept eight awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Nishijima Hidetoshi, as well as technical prizes for Cinematography, Lighting Direction, Sound Recording and Editing.

Arimura Kasumi won Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama I Fell in Love Like A Flower Bouquet, while Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress went to Last of the Wolves' Suzuki Ryohei and In the Wake's Kiyohara Kaya, respectively. Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time was named Animation of the Year, edging out Hosoda Mamoru's Belle which won for Best Music. Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai was recognized for Best Art Direction

Newcomer prizes were given to Imada Mio (Tokyo Revengers), Nishino Nanase (Last of the Wolves), Miura Toko (Drive My Car), Yoshikawa Ai (Honey Lemon Soda), Isomura Hayato (A Family, What Did You Eat Yesterday?), Onoe Ukon II (Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai), Miyazawa Hio (Kiba: The Fangs of Fiction) and Fukase (Character).

Text / Sanwei

Wai Ka Fai's Detective vs. Sleuths to open in April

  March 11, 2022  
Writer-director Wai Ka Fai's crime suspense thriller Detective vs. Sleuths (formerly known as Cold Detective) is set to open in China on April 2. Wai is known for his collaborations with Johnnie To, including Mad Detective and Blind Detective. Detective vs. Sleuths is the Hong Kong filmmaker's first solo directorial effort since 2009's Written By.

Wai reunites with Mad Detective star Sean Lau, who takes on an eccentric detective role again as protagonist Lee Jun. Formerly a legendary detective in the Hong Kong police, Lee was dismissed from the force due to his mental health issues. A series of murders occur in Hong Kong, and forewarnings and clues are left at the crime scene about the "Chosen Sleuths." The police believe that Lee may be connected to the case, while Lee sets out to investigate on his own and prove that he is the true chosen sleuth.

Raymond Lam and Charlene Choi co-star as a husband and wife team of crime unit detectives investigating the murders. Carman Lee, Tan Kai, Carlos Chan, Kathy Yuen and Jeana Ho are also in the cast.

Text / Sanwei

aespa, BTS and Lang Lee win Grand Prizes at 19th Korean Music Awards

  March 2, 2022  
The 19th Korean Music Awards ceremony was held on March 1. aespa won Song of the Year and Best K-Pop Song of the Year for Next Level, and was crowned Rookie of the Year. BTS was recognized as Musician of the Year, while Lang Lee, who was nominated in six categories, collected Album of the Year and Best Folk Album awards for There is a Wolf.

Chung Ha's Querencia was named Best K-Pop Album. IU attained the Best Pop Album trophy for Lilac, and her collaboration single Nakka with AKMU received Best Pop Song Award. Changmo picked up Best Rap & Hip-Hop Song for Taiji.

The rest of the winners include Haepaary's Born By Gorgeousness (Best Electronic Album), Haepaary's "Go to GPD and Then" (Best Electronic Song), Choi LB's Independent Music (Best Rap & Hip-Hop Album), Thama's Don't Die Colors (Best R&B & Soul Album), Sumin & Slom's "The Gonlan Song" (Best R&B & Soul Song), Chun Yong Sung's "Barley Tea (featuring Kang Mal Geum)" (Best Folk Song), Jihye Lee Orchestra's Daring Mind (Best Jazz Album), Maria Kim's With Strings: Dream of You (Best Jazz Vocal Album), and Agnes's Hegemony Shift (Best Metal & Hardcore Album). Special Achievement Award went to rock band Devils.

Text / Violet

Naniwa Danshi's Michieda Shunsuke headlines The Files of Young Kindaichi 5

  February 27, 2022  
Naniwa Danshi member Michieda Shunsuke is the latest Johnny's idol to step into the famous shoes of high school detective Kindaichi Hajime in NTV's upcoming The Files of Young Kindaichi 5.

Amagi Seimaru and Sato Fumiya's mystery manga The Kindaichi Case Files has been adapted into TV dramas and specials numerous times since 1995, with the most recent being the fourth season, The Files of Young Kindaichi Neo, in 2014. Michieda Shunsuke, who starred in last year's My Love Mix-Up!, follows in the footsteps of Johnny's labelmates Yamada Ryosuke, Kamenashi Kazuya, Matsumoto Jun and Domoto Tsuyoshi who played the crime-solving prodigy in past Young Kindaichi adaptations.

The fifth season of The Files of Young Kindaichi is written by Kawabe Yuko and Oishi Tetsuya, and directed by Kimura Hisashi who helmed The Files of Young Kindaichi Neo and the 2013 Hong Kong Kowloon Zaiho Satsujin Jiken special. Kamishiraishi Moka plays Kindaichi's brainy childhood friend Nanase Miyuki, a role previously portrayed by Kawaguchi Haruna, Ueno Juri, Suzuki Anne and Tomosaka Rie. Meanwhile, Ikki Sawamura takes the role of police inspector Isamu Kenmochi who supports Kindaichi's investigative efforts. Iwasaki Taisho of the Johnny's Jr group Bishounen also appears in the series as Saki Ryuta, a high school student in the Mystery Club.

The Files of Young Kindaichi 5 will begin broadcast on NTV in April 2022.

Text / Sanwei

Netflix's Juvenile Justice starring Kim Hye Su premieres February 25

  February 24, 2022  
Two years after Hyena, Kim Hye Su makes her small-screen comeback in the Netflix original legal series Juvenile Justice co-starring Kim Moo Yeol (Grid), Lee Sung Min (Money Game) and Lee Jung Eun (Law School).

Directed by Hong Jong Chan (Life), Juvenile Justice follows Judge Shim Eun Seok (played by Kim Hye Su), who is known for not her cold judgements towards juveniles offenders. She gets appointed as a judge at a district juvenile court. Kim Moo Yeol plays Judge Cha Tae Soo who treats juvenile criminals in a more lenient way, believing that they can be reformed and led to the right path. Lee Sung Min and Lee Jung Eun play Chief Judges Kang Won Joong and Na Geun Hee, respectively.

All ten episodes of Juvenile Justice are slated to release on Netflix on February 25.

Text / Violet

Mnet announces official lineup of Queendom 2

  February 23, 2022  
Mnet announced the official lineup of Queendom 2 on February 21. Over two years after Queendom, Mnet launches the second season of the girl group survival reality program. Girls' Generation's Tae Yeon is confirmed to take part as the host.

Queendom 2, with the secondary title of "Queen is Back," includes six female groups and artists: Brave Girls, VIVIZ, WJSN, Loona, Kep1er and Hyolyn. The six K-pop acts will compete against each other through a comeback battle.

Queendom 2 is scheduled to premiere on March 31.

Text / Violet

Limbo leads 40th Hong Kong Film Awards nominations

  February 16, 2022  
Nominations for the 40th Hong Kong Film Awards were announced on February 16. Soi Cheang's psychological action thriller Limbo leads the race with 14 nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and other technical categories. It's followed by Longman Leung's Anita Mui biopic Anita with twelve nominations, Jun Li's social drama Drifting with eleven nominations, Jimmy Wan's biographical sport drama Zero To Hero with nine nominations, and late director Benny Chan's crime actioner Raging Fire with eight nominations. All four are in the running for Best Film with Limbo.

Longman Leung, Benny Chan, Man Lim Chung (Keep Rolling) and Peter Chan (Leap) join Soi Cheang in the Best Director shortlist. Man Lim Chung is also nominated for Best New Director along with Jun Li, Chiu Sin Hang (One Second Champion), Kin Long Chan (Hand Rolled Cigarette) and Lau Ho Leung (Caught in Time).

Gordon Lam, who won Best Actor in 2017 for Trivisa, looks to add to his collection with dual Best Actor nominations for his roles in Limbo and Hand Rolled Cigarette. The other Best Actor nominations went to Zero to Hero's Leung Chung Hang, Drifting's Francis Ng and Time's Patrick Tse, who won Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards last month. Meanwhile, HKFCS Awards Best Actress winner Cya Liu (Limbo) will compete against Chrissie Chau (Madalena), Sandra Ng (Zero To Hero), Gong Li (Leap) and Louise Wong (Anita). Leung Chung Hang and Louise Wong are both also nominated for Best New Performer along with Chung Suet Ying (Time), Fung Ho Yeung (Zero To Hero) and Will Or (Drifting).

Fung Ho Yeung and Will Or are nominated as well in the Best Supporting Actor category, where they're up against veterans Louis Koo (Anita), Lam Suet (Time) and Tse Kwan Ho (Drifting). Fish Liew received two Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performances in Anita and Limbo. Also nominated in the category are Chung Suet Ying, Paw Hee Ching (Caught in Time), Bai Lang (Leap) and Loletta Lee (Drifting).

Full nomination list is available on the Hong Kong Film Awards official site.

Text / Sanwei

Drive My Car receives four Oscar nominations including Best Picture

  February 9, 2022  
Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards were announced on February 8, and Hamaguchi Ryusuke's Drive My Car has garnered four nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. Drive My Car is the first Japanese film ever to be nominated for Best Picture, and it matches the record set by Kurosawa Akira's Ran for the most Oscar nominations for a Japanese film.

Based on Murakami Haruki's same-titled short story from Men Without Women, Drive My Car stars Nishijima Hidetoshi as a theater director whose road trip with a quiet driver (played by Miura Toko) gradually reveals the depth of his relationship with his late wife. The film exploring love, loss, sexuality and creativity has been a sensation in the international festival circuit, picking up many accolades along the way.

Drive My Car has won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards and Best Screenplay, FIPRESCI Prize and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

Text / Sanwei

IU and BTS sweep awards at 11th Gaon Chart Music Awards

  January 28, 2022  
The 11th Gaon Chart Music Awards was held on January 27. IU and BTS became the biggest winners of the night. IU swept a total of five awards, including Artist of the Year in Digital Music for January (Celebrity), March (Lilac) and October (strawberry moon), as well as Lyricist of the Year and Record Production of the Year. BTS won Retail Album of the Year (Butter), Artist of the Year in Physical Album for the third quarter (Butter), Music Steady Seller of the Year (Dynamite), Social Hot Star of the Year, and Artist of the Year in Digital Music for May (Butter), July (Permission To Dance) and September (My Universe). The group also received the Mubeat Global Choice Award along with BLACKPINK's Lisa.

Besides IU and BTS, the winners of Artist of the Year (Digital Music) include Tae Yeon's What Do I Call You (December 2020), SHINee's Don't Call Me (February), Kang Daniel's Antidote (April), Brave Girls' Chi Mat Ba Ram (June), Red Velvet's Queendom (August) and Twice's Scientist (November).

IZ*ONE's One-reeler / Act IV, NCT Dream's Hot Sauce and NCT 127's Sticker were recognized as Artist of the Year (Physical Album) for the first, second and fourth quarter, respectively. NCT Dream was also crowned Top KiT Seller of the Year.

Trot singer Lim Young Woong received Adult Contemporary Music of the Year award, while Popular Singer of the Year went to Standing Egg's Old Song. Lee Chan Won (..Gift) and Lee Mu Jin (Scent of the Day) were named Rookies of the Year in physical and digital department, respectively, while ENHYPEN and aespa picked up the World Rookie of the Year awards. STAYC (ASAP) and Homies (Siren) walked away with Discovery of the Year awards, and Oh My Girl and The Boyz collected the Hot Performance of the Year trophies. Stray Kids were presented the World Hallyu Award.

Text / Violet

Battle at Lake Changjin II and 7 other Chinese films to open on Lunar New Year

  January 27, 2022  
Eight new Chinese films are set to open on February 1 for Lunar New Year, which is usually China's most lucrative box office period of the year. As of January 25, combined advance ticket sales for the films have already exceeded 200 million yuan according to figures published by Beacon Professional Edition.

The most anticipated film is The Battle at Lake Changjin II, the sequel to last year's record-smashing war epic. Co-directed by Chen Kaige, Dante Lam and Tsui Hark, The Battle at Lake Changjin grossed over 5.7 billion yuan (US$900 million) to become China's biggest film of all time. Again starring Wu Jing and Jackson Yee, the sequel continues to depict the experiences of China's People's Volunteer Army soldiers during the Korean War.

Jackson Yee has another film, Nice View, opening on Chinese New Year. The drama from Dying to Survive director Wen Muye and producer Ning Hao is an inspirational story about a young man who moves to Shenzhen in order to make a better life for himself and his sister, but he encounters many setbacks and challenges along the way. The Battle at Lake Changjin II and Nice View together account for over half of the ticket pre-sales.

Zhang Yimou's Sharpshooter, co-directed with daugher Zhang Mo, is also set during the Korean War. Based on the true story of a Chinese sniper, the biographic war film stars Chen Yongsheng, Zhang Yu and Zhang Yi from One Second and Cliff Walkers.

Writer-director Han Han's Only Fools Rush In is a reteaming with Pegasus star and blockbuster funnyman Shen Teng. Also starring Liu Haoran, Liu Haocun and Yin Zheng, the film is about a group of motorcyle-riding youth and their trials and growth as the road takes them to different places and encounters.

Shen Teng's frequent onscreen partner Ma Li headlines the comedy Too Cool to Kill, a remake of Japanese filmmaker Mitani Koki's Magic Hour about an actor hired to play a hitman. The film is directed by Xing Wenxiong and co-stars Xiang Wei.

Finally, three children's animated features will open: Run Tiger Run, a boy's adventure story set in ancient China, and new installments of the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf and Boonie Bears franchises.

Text / Sanwei

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