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CJ ENM’s 2023 Visionary Awards Celebrate Originality

CJ ENM hosted its third annual awards, introducing the next vision of entertainment together with honorees and key industry figures

Courtesy of CJ ENM
Courtesy of CJ ENM

“I hope that everyone here at the 2023 Visionary Awards can share their inspiration and experience,” said Miky Lee, CJ Group’s vice chairwoman. “As a global entertainment powerhouse, CJ ENM will ensure talented artists and creators can live up to their full potential and dreams.” 

With a reputation as a leading producer of world-class entertainment — already on the rise with globally renowned hits like “Parasite” in 2019 and “Decision to Leave” in 2022 — entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM hosted the third annual Visionary Awards in Seoul on Jan. 8, opening with a congratulatory message from the group’s vice chairwoman. 

The Visionary Awards recognize key figures whose forward-thinking achievements signal a new vision for the future of entertainment. This year’s recipients were selected by quantitative data analytics and a panel of around 60 industry experts not only for their achievement and creativity within their field, but for their global impact, experimentation and influence outside of the industry. 

“Where does the power of K-entertainment that transcends borders come from? For us, the answer to this question is originality, which is something unique each individual holds,” explained Koo Chang-gun, the company’s CEO. “This is why we’ve held the Visionary Awards since 2020. We believe the power of entertainment comes directly from the people.” 

At the center of CJ ENM’s mission is its unwavering dedication to elevating Korean stories and culture. For over 25 years, the company has been leading the globalization of K-content. The Visionary Awards mirror the company’s journey and brand philosophy to discover “Untold Originals.” 

Don Lee Courtesy of CJ ENM

Each recipient of the award, as demonstrated by their originality, innovative approach and ability to set new trends, echoes CJ ENM’s vision in their own unique ways. Actor Kim Hye Soo (“Juvenile Justice,” “Under the Queen’s Umbrella”) has established a distinctive, undeniable presence, using her craft to mesmerize audiences, while actor Don Lee (“The Roundup”) has transformed his unique character into the core of his evolving film franchise. Actor Park Eun Bin (“Extraordinary Attorney Woo”) has used her genuine character to fight against prejudices, showcasing how one’s originality can make an impact. Director Park Chan Wook (“Decision to Leave”) has become globally renowned for his exceptional creativity and mise-en-scène, while girl group (G)I-DLE (“Nxde”) has begun reaching new heights as a rising talent, thanks to its members’ originality and unrelenting drive. 

Park Eun Bin Courtesy of CJ ENM
(G)I-DLE: Minnie (left), Miyeon, Soyeon, Yuqi and Shuhua Courtesy of CJ ENM

Actor/singer IU (“Broker”) used her originality to empathize with her audience across genres and generations alike, while actor/director Lee Jung Jae (“Squid Game,” “Hunt”) further expanded the presence of K-entertainment across the globe as an iconic creator, with both being recognized by CJ ENM for their ability to transcend borders. Screenwriter Chung Seo Kyung (“Decision to Leave,” “Little Women”) went against the grain, fighting stereotypes with her creative perspective and storytelling capabilities. Nah Yung Suk, the producer behind “Earth Arcade,” brings many generations together with his trademark variety shows, establishing his own universe, while producer Lee Jin Ju is noted for creating her own unique genre in reality TV with an immersive case in “EXchange.”

Chung Seo Kyung Courtesy of CJ ENM
Don Lee (Left) and Nah Yung Suk Courtesy of CJ ENM

Expertly summarizing the ethos of the Visionary Awards during his acceptance speech, Don Lee noted, “It’s my hope that the Visionary recipients will try their best to create entertaining content for the global audience that transcends language and boundaries.” 

Courtesy of CJ ENM

The night ended with an open house where industry professionals gathered to network and celebrate the upcoming year with representatives from the leaders of K-content studios and K-pop labels. Throughout the evening, CJ ENM reaffirmed its dedication to supporting creators and artists, propelling the future of entertainment forward through an installation inspired by a supernova, symbolizing the honorees’ explosive capabilities and talents.