Top Korean director Kang Je-gyu, known for his big, set-piece-filled war movies, returns to the director’s chair and the CJ Entertainment stable for the first time since huge hit “My Way,” albeit in a different register. Kang is currently in post-production on “Salut d’Amour,” a family drama made on a budget of $2.7 million. The story focuses on a middle-aged man who receives an unexpected romantic proposal and does not know how to respond. It stars Hong Sang-soo’s muse Yoon Yeo-jeong (“Hill of Freedom”) and K-pop boy band EXO’s Chan-yeol.
CJ is giving Asian launches to “The Shameless” and “Coin Locker Girl,” having pitched them initially to European buyers in Berlin last month. Cannes-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon stars in “Shameless,” in which a detective falls in love with the girlfriend of the mobster he is hunting. The director is Oh Seung-woo, who helmed noir drama “Kilimanjaro” in 2000. Noir drama “Coin Locker Girl” is the debut feature of Han Jun-hee. It stars Kim Hye-soo (“The Thieves”) and newcomer Kim Go-eun (“Eun-gyo”). Both films are R-rated and were produced on budgets under $3 million.
New on the CJ lineup is noir indie title “Socialphobia,” from the Korean Academy of Film Arts school. Produced with a micro-budget under $70,000, the crime drama is enjoying moderate box office success.
CJ is also selling “Grow,” a music documentary following boy band Infinite on tour.
Continuing the firm’s expansion into South East Asia, CJ is representing Vietnamese comedy “Triple Trouble.” The comic adventure film, which is set for release later this spring, is from the same producers as CJ-backed Vietnamese record-breaking sexual-identity comedy “Let Hoi Decide.”
CJ’s expansion into China is represented in the form of co-production “The Peaceful Island,” a mystery thriller directed by Korea’s Chang Yoon-hyun, with Taiwanese actors Stanley Huang and Leon Dai. The title involves CJ, China’s Tianjin Century Media, C2M, Huace Media and Hong Kong’s Media Asia.