Winner of the Golden Bear Award at 2007's Berlin Film Festival, the Mongolia-set comedy Tuya's Marriage is director Wang Quan'an and actress Lu Nan's third feature together.
After a trip to his parents' hometown, writer Jon Shirota was inspired to write a play about the relationship between Okinawans and the American GIs that are stationed there. APA speaks with Shirota and Amy Hill, one of the play's stars.
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Andy Lau films impress Hong Kong, Singapore impresses George Lucas, and kids impress the Indian entertainment industry. All this and more in the latest edition of News from Abroad.
Protégé, Warlords top Hong Kong Film Awards nominations
The Hong Kong Film Awards have announced their nominations, most of which are for Protégé and The Warlords. Derek Yee's Protégé scooped up fifteen nominations, and Warlords was close behind with thirteen. Warlords and Protégé are competing for the top awards Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Either way, it's a great year to be Andy Lau, who performed in both films. Protégé, a crime drama, follows a deep undercover cop (Nick Wu) who gets dangerously close to Banker (Andy Lau), a drug lord with a sweet tooth. Lau and Jet Li go head to head for Best Actor for their performances in Warlords, a historical drama directed by Peter Chan. It's tough to predict which film will come out on top because crime dramas and martial arts epics are both popular genres with the HKFA. --Lisa Leong
The Force is with the East
Eighteen months ago, in a country not too far away, LucasFilms opened its first overseas studio in Singapore. Western companies have traditionally outsourced animation duties to companies based in countries like Korea, but this is the first overseas subsidiary of its kind. Consisting of 170 employees from 33 nations, the digital arts studio ensures that the latest Hollywood blockbusters, ranging from Rush Hour 3 to the Clone Wars TV series, are given the Hollywood make-over. Not just limited to film, the artists also flex their creative muscles working on different types of media like video games and TV animation. Young and inexperienced, Singapore’s artists demand a lower salary but are potentially as talented as their American counterparts. Singapore also has strict copyright laws, ensuring that piracy of their intellectual properties won’t be running rampant. Even more promising is the potential to establish itself as a brand name in the increasingly lucrative Asian market, specifically those in China and India. --William Hong
20th Century Karasawa
Toshiaki Karasawa returns to the silver screen to star in Toho's upcoming sci-fi trilogy 20th Century Boy. He plays the main character, Kenji, who runs a convenient store, when an old teenage apocalyptic prediction of his starts coming true. The movie is based on the successful sci-fi mystery manga of the same name, which is based on the title of T. Rex's exhaustively covered song of the same name. The story has obvious influences to Stephen King novels, particularly It and The Stand. Karasawa has been away from star-role-playing movies for nearly five years, but he's still been a frequenter of various TV programs, namely the Fuji TV series Galileo, of 2007. You may have also have heard his voice as Woody, in the Japanese dub of Toy Story. 20th Century Boy's first installment is set to release August 30th of this year in Japan, the US, UK, Thailand, and China. --Ian Shaikh
Shah Rukh Khan to Host India's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?
Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan will host a new reality show on the STAR Plus channel modeled after the United States’ game show Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? where adults are quizzed on fifth grade-level trivia. This news comes after the success of SRK’s other game show Kaun Banega Crorepati 3. The show will be produced by Synergy Adlabs, which is headed by Siddhartha Basu who also produces Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show still has no title but more information will be available in the coming weeks. --Richard Park
Mermaid Island planned for production
Mermaid Island, a US-China cooperation film with a somewhat corpulent budget ($50 million US), is planned for production following the Chinese New Year, February 7th. Reminiscent of the 1984 film Splash, the film is about the love between a man and a mermaid. Although the lead male hasn't been cast, the mermaid will be played by young Chinese actress Liang Yanfei, and Monica Bellucci (Shoot 'Em Up, Tears of the Sun) will be the Mermaid Queen. Randall Frakes wrote the script, and Irvin Kushner (yes, the same one who directed Robocop 2 and Empire Strikes Back) will direct. --Ian Shaikh
Bollywood Child Artist Won’t Settle for Best Child Actor Award
Nine year-old actor Darsheel Safary has won much praise from critics for his performance in 2007’s commercially and critically successful Bollywood film, Taare Zameen Par. Safary made his debut in the Aamir Khan film, playing the role of a struggling dyslexic child. Critic Taran Adarsh describes his performance as “impeccable, flawless, and astounding.” Safary will be the first child actor to be nominated for the Best Actor Award at India’s 53rd Filmfare, the oldest, most prominent film event for Hindi Films. Filmfare holds a unique place in film events for its numerous special awards and this year, a Best Child Actor Award nomination was given to Safary. The child actor, however, feels entitled to the Best Actor Award nomination where he will be competing with other prominent actors Abhishek Bachchan (Guru), Akshay Kumar (Namastey London), Shah Rukh Khan (Chak De India and Om Shanti Om), and Shahid Kapoor (Jap We Met). The event is scheduled for Sunday, February 24th. --Christie Liu
Date Posted: 2/8/2008