Korean-Chinese Collaboration Film Line-Up Unveiled at CJ Shanghai International Film Festival
The Line-up of Korean-Chinese Collaboration Films Has Been Announced at CJ Shanghai International Film Festival. "Battleship Island" Featuring Hwang Jung-Min and Song Joong-Ki May be Released in China and Korea Simultaneously
On June 12, CJ E&M announced the line-up of Korean-Chinese collaboration films at the 2016 Shanghai International Film Festival (the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival). The festival, an opportunity for CJ E&M to present its Chinese film plans for the next two years, introduced blockbusters with high artistic value including "Kung Fu Robot" and "Battleship Island." Also announced at the festival were filming plans for the Chinese version of "Veteran," a cop action movie which dominated the Korean box office in 2015.
The announcement event was graced by the presence of Zhang Hongsen (张宏森), Director General of the film bureau at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China, Hu Jinjun (胡劲军), Deputy Minister of Publicity Department of Shanghai Municipal Committee and Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV, Kim Pil-Jung, chief representative of the Chinese Office of the Korean Film Council, and Jeong Tae-Sung, CEO of CJ E&M China, as well as the Korean film industry's celebrated figures such as director Yoon Je-Kyun, director Ryoo Seung-Wan, and actor Hwang Jung-Min, and renowned Chinese actors Sun Honglei (孙红雷) and Tsang Chi-Wai (曾志伟). In addition, "Battleship Island" star Song Joong-Ki also sent his congratulatory message through a video.
Creating a Mecca of Korean-Chinese Collaboration Films and Importing Korean Resources, Shanghai Announcement Event is the First Step towards Overseas Expansion
In his opening speech, Hu Jinjun, Deputy Minister of Publicity Department of Shanghai Municipal Committee and Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV, explained the background of the announcement, saying, "The CJ Korean-Chinese Collaboration Film Line-up Announcement event dates back to 2014. During the state visit to Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television and Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism signed the 'Korean-Chinese Film Collaboration Agreement'. According to the agreement, Korean-Chinese collaboration films will be granted the status of internationally co-produced films and accordingly be treated as domestic films in both China and Korea, being subject to protection by policies." With the help of policy support, for the past few years, Shanghai has been strengthening Korea-China film exchanges and making efforts to advance the field of Korea-China film co-productions that make use of the city's regional characteristics.
In addition, Shanghai has also been encouraging film co-productions between Korean and Chinese film production companies. In 2016 alone, the production of multiple Korean-Chinese collaboration films was completed with permission from Shanghai. In addition, Shanghai has been constantly engaged in discussions and exchanges with the Korean Film Promotion Committee and the Korean film production companies to create more cooperation opportunities between Korea and China. Following CJ E&M's announcement of the line-up of Korean-Chinese collaboration films at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Shanghai will be made into the home of Korea-China film co-production efforts. With the import of Korea's excellent film resources and Shanghai local film production companies' increasing interest in Korea-China film co-productions, many high-quality films are expected to be made.
Korea and China are the world's two major film markets and have the best filmmaking technology in Asia. It is expected that Korean-Chinese collaboration films, which are increasingly being made in Shanghai, will provide a new driving force for future cultural exchanges between Korea and China as well as for the development of the Korea-China film co-production industry and the Shanghai film industry. At the announcement event, CJ E&M's corporate PR film and a video introducing the films in the 2016 line-up were presented, and CJ E&M's Chinese business strategy was also explained by CJ E&M China CEO Jeong Tae-Sung. In addition, the news was also delivered at the event indicating that many films being planned, produced, and invested in by globally-expanding CJ E&M targeting global markets are attaining strong box office results as well as positive word of mouth.
In the Era of IP Film Resource Globalization, Korea and China Agrees to Procure Quality IP
"Kung Fu Robot," one of the films introduced at CJ E&M's line-up announcement, will be jointly produced by CJ, Wanda Group, and Dexter Studio and will be directed by Yoon Je-Kyun, who has directed masterpieces such as "Sex Is Zero" and "Tidal Wave". "Kung Fu Robot" is a sci-fi action movie that tells the story of a Kung Fu-ing cleaning robot who fights the forces of evil together with a human friend. "Kung Fu Robot" puts a humorous spin on Chinese traditional martial arts 'kung fu' and conveys the love of humanity. Although the scenario of "Kung Fu Robot" is currently in its final stages of completion, the film's visual design and production are said to have already started. CJ E&M is the first film production company to create global IP (intellectual property rights). It produces 1,000 original scenarios every year, owns 500 IPs, and is working closely with many international film workers. Well-known TV dramas "Signal" and "Reply 1988" are excellent examples of CJ E&M-produced works. “Salut d'Amour”, directed by Kang Je-Gyu, is a family drama that warmly depicts things that take place at Jangsu Market as part of an urban redevelopment project. The movie has also been nominated for the Golden Goblet Award in the competition section at the 2015 Shanghai International Film Festival. Tsang Chi-Wai, who was in attendance at the announcement event, expressed his feelings by saying, "I am slated to star in the Chinese version of 'Veteran', and I was so moved by the story of the original movie. Knowing that the subject that 'Veteran' tackles does not belong to the genres popular in China encouraged me even more to have a go at it."
Handsome Actor Song Joong-Ki Confirms His Appearance in Battleship Island. Veteran's Korean and Chinese Lead Actors Pose Alongside Each Other
Director Ryoo Seung-Wan and actor Hwang Jung-Min of Veteran were invited and attended the event. The movie made huge waves in Korea in 2015. Director Ryoo Seung-Wan talked about how he felt during the making of “Veteran”, what motivated him to direct the film, and the secret to the film's popularity. In addition to that, the director also gave a brief overview about the movie "Battleship Island," which is currently being shot. Based on a real historical event, the movie tells a story during the Japanese colonial period where approximately 400 Koreans who have been forced to serve in the army on an island called Battleship Island attempts to escape the island at their peril. Actors Song Joong-Ki, Hwang Jung-Min, and So Ji-Sub are scheduled to play leading roles in the movie.
Actor Hwang Jung-Min, who gave impressive performances in the movie “Veteran” and “Ode to My Father”, visited the Shanghai International Film Festival with regards to the production of the Chinese version of “Veteran”. In the movie “Battleship Island”, Hwang Jung-Min plays a character called Lee Kang-Ok, a bandmaster who was deceived into entering the labor camp on Battleship Island. Kang-Ok Lee is portrayed as a person who does anything necessary to protect his daughter.
Besides Hwang Jung-Min, “Battleship Island” also features other male actors who are very popular in Korea these days. Fan favorite actor Song Joong-Ki, who will display his acting skills in “Battleship Island” following the movie “Descendants of the Sun”, plays a character named Park Moo-Yeong who conducts his duties with a strong sense of responsibility. Actor So Ji-Sub plays Choi Chil-Seong who is quick to pick fights, acting alongside Song Joong-Ki and Hwang Jung-Min for the first time. A character with a fiery temperament, Choi Chil-Seong is portrayed as a headache on Battleship Island but also as having a serious side, which comes across as quite an unexpected charm. To the question of who they want to play Hwang Jung-Min's role in the Chinese version of “Veteran”, both director Ryoo Seung-Wan and actor Hwang Jung-Min replied "Sun Honglei." Hwang Jung-Min said that he had been thinking highly of Sun Honglei's acting, and director Ryoo Seung-Wan even called Sun Honglei — who is also the director's friend — on stage. Sun Honglei, who graced the event with his presence, thanked director Ryoo Seung-Wan and actor Hwang Jung-Min for their compliments. Hwang Jung-Min and Sun Honglei, who has previously played a cop, struck the pose of soldiers alongside each other, capturing the hearts of the female audience. On the stage, the three conversed about Korean-Chinese film co-productions, and both director Ryoo Seung-Wan and actor Hwang Jung-Min said that they were eager to make films in China. All three of them also said that the era of film's globalization has arrived and they were fully ready for that, and they also added that they thought highly of event host CJ E&M's contribution to global film collaborations and Korean-Chinese film collaborations.