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‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ Director Niki Caro Has a Plan for Fighting Hollywood’s Gender Gap

Get used to hearing Niki Caro’s name. As the only female director to have not just one, but two studio pictures hitting the big screen over the next two years, including Disney’s much-hyped live-action remake of “Mulan,” the filmmaker is about to be catapulted to a rarefied position in an industry that is not always friendly to placing women behind the camera. That doesn’t mean she’s entirely happy about it.

“That just depresses me,” Caro told IndieWire when asked about her unique upcoming slate. “It’s wonderful for me, but God, I have survivor guilt over this. The fact that I’m working is great and I feel very fortunate, but the fact that so many highly skilled, gifted women are not, it’s shameful.”

But Caro has a plan to combat Hollywood’s gender imbalance behind the camera, and it’s one she’s already putting into action.
See full article at Indiewire »

Li Bingbing in Talks for Shark Movie ‘Meg’ (Exclusive)

Li Bingbing in Talks for Shark Movie ‘Meg’ (Exclusive)
Chinese actress Li Bingbing is in final talks to star opposite Jason Statham and Jessica McNamee in Warner Bros. prehistoric shark tentpole “Meg.”

National Treasure” helmer Jon Turteltaub will direct the film. Fan Bingbing had been cast but has departed due to scheduling issues.

The film will be co-financed by Flagship Entertainment; Gravity Pictures, a division of China Media Capital (Cmc); and Warner Bros. Gravity Pictures will distribute the film in China, with Warners handling elswhere.

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producing. Executive producers are Wei Wayne Jiang, Barrie M. Osborne, Randy Greenberg and Gerald R. Molen.

Meg” is set for a March 2, 2018, release. The story is based on Steve Alten’s novel “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror,” published in 1997, in which the ancient Megalodon species is discovered to have survived in the Mariana Trench due to a barrier of cold water.

Meg” centers
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal’

Film Review: ‘Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal’
A 3D fantasy adventure about a demon slayer who becomes smitten with, erm, a demon, “Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal” comes up with a splashy, game-influenced visual look new to this popular Chinese genre. However, the decision to binge on CGI action setpieces overwhelms the romantic spark of the central characters, played by impossibly beautiful leads Lee Bingbing and Aloys Chen Kun, while the film’s themes of class division, human desire and hypocrisy find darker, more riveting expression only toward the end. Co-helmed by Hong Kong lenser Peter Pau and mainland director Zhao Tianyu, the film came in third among eight domestic films released for Chinese New Year, grossing $10.8 million in two days. With the clout of its overseas co-producers Village Roadshow Asia and Warner Bros., it could generate reasonably more international buzz than other Asian genre fare; a North American 3D release kicks off Friday.

For a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Busan: China-Korea Co-Prod Treaty a Mixed Bag

Busan: China-Korea Co-Prod Treaty a Mixed Bag
Busan — Veteran Hollywood entertainment lawyer Thomas Leo of L.A.-based Sheppard Mullin briefed attendees at the Biff Asian Film Market Sunday on the ins and outs of international co-producing. Titled “Borderless Collaboration with China: International Co-productions and Legal Issues,” the presentation was heavy on detail, but afterward Leo succinctly stated the essentials of China-Korea Co-production Treaty that was signed in July and went into effect Sept. 1: “Is it a good deal for Korea?” he asked. “The answer is yes and no. Yes, because it means Korean co-productions with China are not subject to the Chinese import quota for foreign films. No, because they are subject to national treatment by China, including Chinese censorship. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag.”

Overall, however, the treaty is a positive for both the Korean and Chinese industries, as Leo explained in his talk, since the Chinese get the benefits of Korean production technology,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Easternlight picks up Annie Yi’s The Queens

  • ScreenDaily
Easternlight picks up Annie Yi’s The Queens
Arclight Films’ Asian label, Easternlight Films, has picked up international rights to The Queens, directed by and starring Taiwanese singer and actress Annie Yi.

Produced by Beijing-based Desen International Media, the romantic comedy also stars Korean actress Song Hye Kyo and Chinese actress Vivian Wu. Chinese release is scheduled for November 7.

The film follows three cosmopolitan women, an actress, a PR specialist and a gallery manager, all wrestling with the ups and downs of their romantic lives. “We want to present the mystery, desires, sorrows and pain in urban relationships”” said Desen’s Ann An. “The motto for women from the film is ‘Don’t be a slave, and don’t be a queen, just be yourself’. The characters go through the transformation from ‘being a queen’ to purely ‘being themselves’.”

Also known by her Chinese name Yi Nengjing, Annie Yi starred in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Good Men, Good Women (1995), Peter Greenaway’s 8 ½ Women (1999) and more recently
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Politics Aside, S. Korea, China Find Plenty of Reasons to Work Together in Film Business

Politics Aside, S. Korea, China Find Plenty of Reasons to Work Together in Film Business
Over the centuries relations between neighbors Korea and China have often been strained, but the entertainment industry is putting history and politics behind them.

A sequel to Korean hit “My Sassy Girl,” which began lensing last week, is set to be the first official treaty co-production between South Korea and China. That follows the long-awaited signing of a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries in July.

But producers from both sides of the Yellow Sea have not waited for their governments to catch up with reality, and a steady trickle of Korean-Chinese movies over the past decade has already turned into a fast-flowing stream in the past two years.

Recent cross-border co-ventures have included “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” starring Zhang Ziyi and the original “Sassy Girl” Gianna Jun (previously known as Jun Ji-hyun); CGI-heavy family pic “Mr. Go,” which made money for the Chinese partner Huayi Bros.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Zhou Xun and Archie Kao Wed in Surprise Public Ceremony in China

Zhou Xun and Archie Kao Wed in Surprise Public Ceremony in China
For the closing act at a charity event, Chinese actress Zhou Xun sang two songs - then stayed on stage for the best of encores. Rumors had swirled beforehand that Zhou would be announcing her engagement to actor Archie Kao at Wednesday's concert in Hangzhou, the capital of China's eastern province of Zhejiang. But after she sang, she went backstage to change her outfit and reappeared in an ivory Chanel wedding gown, holding a bouquet. As the crowd broke into a loud cheer, she was joined on stage by Kao, who was wearing a black tuxedo. The couple then surprised
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

China and South Korea Sign Co-Production and Import Deal

China and South Korea Sign Co-Production and Import Deal
Hong Kong – China and South Korea have signed a film co-production agreement that was described as a “landmark” by officials.

The deal was signed by China’s Cai Fuchao, director of the State Administration of Film Radio and television (Sarft), and South Korea’s minister of culture Yoon Rin-ryong following a two-day visit to South Korea by China’s president Xi Jinping.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries in June last year. But it may fall short of a full scale co-production treaty, which both China and South Korea have with other countries.

Instead the new pact appears to focus on allowing South Korean films to avoid China’s import quota system.

“South Korea-China co-productions, once recognized as China’s home-grown films, can bypass China’s limitations on foreign movie imports, so the pact would facilitate the South Korean film industry’s advance into the Chinese film market,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Korea’s Cj Entertainment Expands China Production

Korea’s Cj Entertainment Expands China Production
Hong Kong – South Korea’s Cj Entertainment is co-producing Chinese-language thriller “The Peaceful Island.”

Directed by Chang Yoon-hyun, the film stars Taiwanese actors Stanley Huang and Leon Dai, as well as Chinese actress Jiao Yun Yan. It is the story of ocean surveyors who survive an emergency landing on a bizarre desert island and their desperate struggle to escape.

The film is co-developed and structured as a South Korean-Chinese-Hong Kong co-production. It involves Cj’s regular Chinese production partners Tianjin Century Media Co., Ltd, C2M, as well as China’s Huace Media, Media Asia from Hong Kong and Kodiz from Korea.

Cj last year co-produced Chinese hit “The Wedding Invitation” and this year expects to make three Chinese movies. It previously invested in the Chinese remake of “What Women Want” and “Snow Flower And the Secret Fan.”

Since getting under-way in March 2014, filming of “Island” has taken place in Beijing,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Korean ‘Star’ Shines in China’s Political, Online Firmaments

Korean ‘Star’ Shines in China’s Political, Online Firmaments
Hong Kong – A South Korean TV drama “My Love From The Star” (literal translation ‘You Who Came From The Stars’) has become a knockout hit in China.

And despite its whimsical plot and slick, inoffensive presentation it has sparked a string of controversies along the way.

The show features Kim Soo-hyun as an alien trapped on earth for 400 years, but who passes as a near perfect specimen of the human male and in the present day works as a somewhat cynical college professor. Inconceivably, he becomes romantically linked to a beautiful, but obnoxious pop-star/actress, played by Gianna Jun, Korea’s most glamorous movie star.

“Star” played in Korea twice weekly on Sbs for 21 episodes from December 2013 to Feb this year and was a smash ratings winner. Its final, extra, episode scored a 28% rating, according to Agb Nielsen. The show was also licensed for Chinese broadcast, for what is
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Berlin File is out on DVD December 24th

This December 24th Ryoo Seung-wan’s The Berlin File is debuting on DVD from Cj Entertainment. The Berlin File stars Jung-woo Ha (winner of the Best Actor award for this performance at the 2013 Baek Sang Art Awards), Suk-kyu Han (Eye for an Eye), Seung-beom Ryu (Perfect Number, Doomsday Book) and Gianna Jun (The Thieves, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan). The bonus materials include deleted scenes and “The Making of The Berlin Files,” a behind-scene scenes featurette.

Synopsis

A tense illegal arms deal in a Berlin hotel suddenly descends into mayhem after a “ghost” agent named Jong-Seong (Jung-woo Ha) appears on the scene. Secretly watching the deal go down is embattled South Korean intelligence chief Jin-soo (Suk-Kyu Han), the North Koreans and the CIA, who are all left trying to decode whether the ghost is a double-agent or taking the fall for a more insidious plot. Myung-soo (Seung-beom Ryu) a young,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

DVD Release: The Berlin File

DVD Release Date: Dec. 24, 2013

Price: DVD $26.98

Studio: Cj Entertainment

Ha Jung-woo goes for the gun in The Berlin File.

Korean action auteur Ryoo Seung-wan (City of Violence, Crying Fist) delivers his signature style to the East meets West double agent intrigue in the 2012 Korean action thriller film The Berlin File.

Exposed during an illegal arms trade gone wrong in Berlin, a North Korean “ghost” agent (Ha Jung-woo) finds himself in the cross-hairs of an international manhunt. Caught between his love of country and his wife (Gianna Jun), he must quickly prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Along with Jung-woo Ha (winner of the Best Actor award for this performance at the 2013 Baek Sang Art Awards), the cast includes Suk-kyu Han (Eye for an Eye), Seung-beom Ryu (Perfect Number) and Gianna Jun (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan).

Presented in Korean with English subtitles, the DVD includes deleted scenes and “The Making of The Berlin Files,
See full article at Disc Dish »

Jeong Tae-sung: International Exec You Should Know

Jeong Tae-sung: International Exec You Should Know
Jeong Tae-sung cannot be credited with inventing Korean major Cj Entertainment’s initiative to expand film activities into China — that has been under way for six years — but the 49-year-old exec is making sure the Korean conglom’s initiatives take root on the mainland.

Jeong arrived at the Cj Entertainment film unit in early 2012, after the company had suffered a relatively disappointing 2011, and within months was made its head.

Fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English, Jeong has an extensive knowledge of the Asian indie film scene as a former head of the Busan festival’s project market. He also knows the commercial market, having been CEO at film giant Showbox/Mediaplex.

But at Cj, his mandate has been to grow the company’s international operations and relationships.

The corporate logic is relatively simple. Korea is a small and highly developed country with an aging population. While its home market is relatively saturated,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

"Prejudice" Goes Downstairs In "Longbourn"

Focus Features has hired Angela Workman ("Snow Flower And The Secret Fan," "The Zookeeper’s Wife") to pen the script for a period film adaptation of Jo Baker's upcoming novel "Longbourn" for Focus Features.

The book reimagines Jane Austen's "Pride And Prejudice" from the point of view of the servants at the Bennet family estate.

Under the surface of the Bennet house, there is constant chaos swirling downstairs as the servants prepare for assorted lavish balls.

The consequences of the Napoleonic Wars also come into play, while a romance between a newly arrived footman and a housemaid is a central element.

Workman is a much in demand scribe, penning the historical tale "Bronte" for Dreamworks and recently woking on a biopic of photojournalist Dorothea Lange.

Source: Deadline
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Chinese Actress Li Bingbing: 'Say No to Ivory'

Chinese Actress Li Bingbing: 'Say No to Ivory'
When not shooting movies around the world, Chinese star Li Bingbing devotes much of her time to environmental and animal rights causes. The Resident Evil: Retribution and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan actress called from Chicago, where she is filming Transformers 4, to talk to The Hollywood Reporter about her other latest project: joining nearly 40 artists and celebrities in the Elephant Parade, an internationally touring art exhibition to raise awareness and aid for the Asian elephant. “The threat of extinction is more real than many realize,” says Li. Threats including ivory poaching and deforestation have caused the

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Project of the Day: 'Scarface' Actor and Steven Seagal's Daughter Team Up To Solve a Murder in 'Man From Reno'

Project of the Day: 'Scarface' Actor and Steven Seagal's Daughter Team Up To Solve a Murder in 'Man From Reno'
Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. "Man From Reno" Tweetable Logline: A famous Japanese author and small town sheriff unexpectedly team up to solve a murder mystery in San Francisco. Elevator Pitch: It's a bi-lingual Japanese/English mystery thriller starring Steven Seagal's daughter and legendary "Scarface" actor Pepe Serna in the first leading role of his 40 year career. Production Team: Director: Dave Boyle ("White on Rice," "Surrogate Valentine," "Daylight Savings") Producer: Ko Mori ("The Harimaya Bridge") Director of Photography: Richard Wong ("Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," "Princess of Nebraska") Editor: Dave Boyle About the Production: I wanted to make this movie simply to tell a great story. I've always loved the mystery genre,
See full article at Indiewire »

Rupert Murdoch Divorce: How Wendi Deng Went Hollywood

Rupert Murdoch Divorce: How Wendi Deng Went Hollywood
Taking her husband by the elbow, Wendi Deng Murdoch gently nudged Rupert Murdoch toward photographers at this year’s Oscars. It was the end of the red carpet, and the News Corp. chairman and CEO was anxious to get to his seat. But Wendi Murdoch, who towers over Rupert Murdoch even without the stilettos she was wearing, deftly ushered him toward the cameras, one of the many examples of the small, quiet influence she has wielded over the media mogul who is 38 years her senior at age 82.

See Also: Rupert Murdoch Files for Divorce

But Wendi Murdoch, who married the News Corp. topper in 1999 after emigrating from China at age 19, has more recently broken away from her husband to venture into entertainment. She got her media start at former News Corp. subsidiary Star TV, but quit her post with the conglom before marrying Rupert Murdoch.

In 2011, she produced the feature
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Rupert Murdoch Divorce: How Wendi Deng Went Hollywood

Rupert Murdoch Divorce: How Wendi Deng Went Hollywood
Taking her husband by the elbow, Wendi Deng Murdoch gently nudged Rupert Murdoch toward photographers at this year’s Oscars. It was the end of the red carpet, and the News Corp. chairman and CEO was anxious to get to his seat. But Wendi Murdoch, who towers over Rupert Murdoch even without the stilettos she was wearing, deftly ushered him toward the cameras, one of the many examples of the small, quiet influence she has wielded over the media mogul who is 38 years her senior at age 82.

See Also: Rupert Murdoch Files for Divorce

But Wendi Murdoch, who married the News Corp. topper in 1999 after emigrating from China at age 19, has more recently broken away from her husband to venture into entertainment. She got her media start at former News Corp. subsidiary Star TV, but quit her post with the conglom before marrying Rupert Murdoch.

In 2011, she produced the feature
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Acclaimed Chinese Actress Joins Transformers 4

So excited to report that acclaimed Chinese actress Li Bingbing (Resident Evil: Retribution) has joined the cast of Transformers 4 who is (just so you know) no relation to Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days of Future Past). Here’s the announcement from Paramount.

Michael Bay And Paramount Pictures Announce The Casting Of Chinese Actress Li Bingbing In The Eagerly Awaited ‘Transformers 4

Hollywood, CA (May 20, 2013) – Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures jointly announced today that Chinese actress Li Bingbing (“Resident Evil: Retribution”) has been cast in the eagerly awaited “Transformers 4.” The actress joins Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Sophia Myles in the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27th, 2014.

“I am excited to have Li Bingbing join our cast and to be shooting portions of the movie in her native China.
See full article at ScifiMafia »

Chinese Actress Li Bingbing Joins Michael Bay’s Transformers 4

Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures jointly announced today that Chinese actress Li Bingbing (“Resident Evil: Retribution”) has been cast in the eagerly awaited Transformers 4. The actress joins Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Sophia Myles in the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27th, 2014.

“I am excited to have Li Bingbing join our cast and to be shooting portions of the movie in her native China. I have always aspired to work with the best actors and this cast is especially exciting now with the addition of Li,” said Michael Bay.

Li’s recent hits in China include the Tsui Hark-directed “Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame” and “1911.” She has already begun to cross over into American films, most recently co-starring in the Paul W.S. Anderson
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »
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