Major South Korean Film Premieres Canceled Following Massive Shipwreck
SEOUL – As South Korean authorities continue to rescue hundreds missing from a shipwreck on Wednesday, major red-carpet premieres have been canceled in light of the tragedy.
The ferry, carrying 477 people, including 325 high school students on a school trip, left the western port city of Incheon on Wednesday morning. The vessel was bound for the resort island of Jeju, but distress signals went out around 9 a.m. local time. The cause of the sinking is still unknown.
The ship capsized with breathtaking speed -- within two hours of the first distress signal according to YTN and other local media sources near the southwestern coast of Jindo -- and military dive teams worked to rescue at least 164 people. Officials said four were known dead while nearly 300 were still missing by the time the rescue wrapped up around 8 p.m. The search will resume around 1 a.m. on Thursday.
The red-carpet premiere for Make Your Move 3D, slated for Wednesday evening, was canceled as the rescue continued throughout the day. The film has been much buzzed about as it marks the Hollywood debut of internationally renowned K-pop star BoA. It is directed by Step Up scriptwriter Duane Adler and stars Derek Hough, who appeared in the 12th season of Dancing With the Stars.
"We would like to express our grief and offer our condolences to the victims and their bereaved families, and hope that the rescue process will be carried out swiftly. We also apologize to those who were planning on attending the premiere," said a spokesperson for the film.
Meanwhile a talk show that was due to be broadcast live online for The Fatal Encounter was also called off. The star-studded period drama is one of the most anticipated films of the season as it features the big comeback of heartthrob Hyun Bin, who has recently been discharged from the compulsory two-year military service for Korean men.
Other media spotlight events have been canceled, including the premiere for Rio 2 and press conference for the erotic melodrama Obsessed, which were both due to take place on Thursday. Various TV soaps and programs have also been called off on major networks in order to report the incident.