CJ’s Pan-Asian film in English opens Hawaii International Film Fest

2013-10-14 18:45

Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M’s English-language movie “Final Recipe” had its U.S. premiere on Thursday as the opening film of the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Helmed by Korean director Gina Kim and starring singer Henry Lau and actress Michelle Yeoh, “Final Recipe” is one of CJ E&M’s international projects alongside Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi flick “Snowpiercer” and Korea-China joint production “A Wedding Invitation.”

A scene from “Final Recipe” directed by Gina Kim. (CJ Entertainment)
The film, jointly written by Kim and Chinese-American screenwriter George Huang, tells the story of Mark ― played by Lau, a member of Super Junior’s sub-group Super Junior-M ― a young chef in Shanghai, who decides to enter an international cooking contest in an attempt to prevent his grandfather’s restaurant from going out of business. Lau is a Hong Kong-Canadian, and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and English.

Yeoh, whose best known movies include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” (2005) “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and “The Lady,” (2011) plays Julia, a woman who makes her husband compete in the same culinary festival.

“‘Final Recipe,’ from acclaimed director Gina Kim, lushly photographs the brilliant, mouthwatering culinary concoctions,” the festival website says.

“The performances, especially the luminous Michelle Yeoh and K-pop star Henry Lau, truly shine in this delectable Pan-Asian melodrama.”

Kim is best known for her 2007 English-language marital tale “Never Forever,” which starred Korean actor Ha Jung-woo and American actress Vera Farmiga.

“Final Recipe,” which had its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain last month, will also be featured in the upcoming Sao Paulo International Film Festival, which kicks off in Brazil on Friday, according to CJ Entertainment.

CJ E&M’s international film projects released this year have been mostly successful, with Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic thriller “Snowpiercer,” starring an international cast including Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and Song Kang-ho and drawing some 9.3 million viewers in Korea.

Its Chinese-language romance film “A Wedding Invitation,” a remake of Korean director Oh Ki-hwan’s 2001 tearjerker “Last Present,” became the highest-earning Korea-China joint production in terms of box office sales in China, earning some $31 million. The film was directed by Oh, and starred Taiwanese-Canadian actor Eddie Peng and Chinese actress Bai Baihe.

“We produced, invested in and developed ‘Final Recipe,’ on our own targeting the global audience,” said CJ E&M’s spokesperson. “It is a Pan-Asian film that captures shared Asian values and emotions.”

“Final Recipe” is slated to open in theaters worldwide next year.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)