The Korea Herald


CJ makes inroads into Vietnam

Two joint production films to be released in Vietnam this year

By Claire Lee

Published : Jan. 27, 2014 - 19:34

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Vietnamese American film producer and director Charlie Nguyen (left), Vietnamese actor Thai Hoa.(CJ Entertainment) Vietnamese American film producer and director Charlie Nguyen (left), Vietnamese actor Thai Hoa.(CJ Entertainment)

After its successful venture into the Chinese film industry last year, Korea’s CJ E&M Pictures is now set to make a foray into Vietnamese cinema, targeting audiences in the Southeast Asian country.

The entertainment company announced on Sunday that it is producing two Korean-Vietnamese joint films, both of which will be released in theaters in Vietnam this year.

One of the two films is “De Hoi Tinh,” about a gay man who meets a talented but financially struggling artist who makes a living by creating imitations of the world’s masterpieces. It stars the highly popular Vietnamese actor Thai Hoa, and is directed by Vietnamese-American auteur Charlie Nguyen.

The other is “Thien Ac Kho,” an action comedy about an attractive pickpocket who tries to seduce a wealthy woman to pay off his debts. But he eventually finds himself developing genuine feelings for her. The film is CJ’s first collaboration with Chanh Phuong Films, a Vietnamese production company. It will be directed by Vietnamese director Vo Tan Bihn and will star popular actor Johnny Nguyen.

CJ E&M Pictures last year coproduced “A Wedding Invitation,” a Chinese remake of Korean filmmaker Oh Ki-hwan’s 2001 tearjerker “Last Present.” The film, starring Chinese actress Bai Baihe and Taiwanese-Canadian actor Eddie Peng, was directed by Oh.

In April it became the highest-grossing Korea-China joint production, garnering 192 million yuan ($32 million) at the Chinese box office. The film, however, did not enjoy commercial success in Korea when it was released in June; it only drew 17,872 viewers and grossed 127 million won ($117,550).

CJ’s other international projects include Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 dystopian thriller “Snowpiercer” and Gina Kim’s food and family drama “Final Recipe,” which stars Hong Kong-Canadian singer Henry Lau and Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh. The two films will be screened during the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival next month.

By Claire Lee (