Berlin: South Korean Political Thriller 'Master' Sells to Multiple Territories


CJ Entertainment also strikes a slew of deals for 'Confidential Assignment' and 'Fabricated City.'

South Korean giant CJ Entertainment has unveiled a slew of deals as the European Film Market in Berlin kicked off Thursday.

The deals come under the leadership of newly appointed head of sales and distribution Yoonhee Choi.

Master, starring The Magnificent Seven star Lee Byung-hun, has sold to China (Lemon Tree), Japan (Twin), Taiwan (Movie Cloud), Hong Kong, Macau (Deltamac), Singapore, Malaysia (Clover Films), Australia and New Zealand (JBG Pictures), Turkey (Medyavizyon), the Philippines (Viva Communications), Mongolia (Bloomsbury), India (VR Films & Studios), Italy (Minerva) and Thailand (M Pictures).

CJ is directly distributing the film in North America (CJ Entertainment America), Vietnam (CJ E&M Vietnam) and Indonesia (CJ Entertainment & OKTN), while in-flight rights have been sold to Emphasis.

Directed by Cho Ui-seok (Cold Eyes), the film is about a politically well-connected con man abusing his power. Master topped the South Korean box office for two weeks in December and has earned $50.6 million overall. It is among a string of politically charged films hitting local screens amid nationwide anti-presidential protests.

Among CJ’s new titles in Berlin, Confidential Assignment, has been pre-sold to Taiwan (Movie Cloud), Hong Kong and Macau (Deltamac), the Middle East (Gulf Film), the Philippines (Viva Communications), Australia & New Zealand (JBG Pictures), India (VR Films & Studios), Mongolia (Bloomsbury), North America (CJ Entertainment America), Vietnam (CJ E&M Vietnam) and Indonesia (CJ Entertainment & OKTN). In-flight rights for the Kim Sung-hoon film about a North Korean spy were picked up by Emphasis.

And Fabricated City, another CJ title making its market debut at EFM, was pre-sold to Taiwan (Long Shong), Hong Kong, Macau (Deltamac), India (VR Films & Studios), the Philippines (Viva Communications), Mongolia (Bloomsbury), Australia, New Zealand (JBG Pictures), Italy (Minerva), North America (CJ Entertainment America), Vietnam (CJ E&M Vietnam) and Indonesia (CJ Entertainment & OKTN).

The film, about a young man who receives the help of fellow virtual game players when he is framed for murder, is director Park Kwang-hyun's long-awaited follow-up to the 2005 hit Korean War drama Welcome to Dongmakgol.

In addition, CJ’s Vietnam co-production Saigon Bodyguard has sold to Japan (Gaga), India (VR Films & Studios), Australia & New Zealand (JBG Pictures) and North America (CJ Entertainment America). The action-comedy was a box-office hit in December in Vietnam, where VSTV has pay TV rights.

It was helmed by Japanese director Ken Ochiai and produced by Canada’s multiple award winning Niv Fichman (EnemyHobo with a Shotgun) and Sweden’s Kim Ly in association with CJ. Ly also stars in the film.

Said Tom Yoda, CEO and chairman of Japan's Gaga, about the film: "Although the current Japanese market for foreign films is very tough, we are very pleased to introduce Saigon Bodyguards to our audience as a hugely successful film in Vietnam."