Netflix Extends Partnership With Korean Entertainment Company

Netflix has entered into a strategic partnership including a multiyear content production and distribution agreement with CJ ENM, a Korean media entertainment company, and its subsidiary production studio Studio Dragon.

As part of a three-year partnership beginning in 2020, Studio Dragon and its roster of creators will produce original series that will be available to Netflix members globally. Netflix will also receive distribution rights to other select Studio Dragon titles.

This arrangement extends and deepens the relationship between CJ ENM, Studio Dragon, and Netflix, which has already been streaming Studio Dragon titles such as “Stranger,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Memories of Alhambra,” “Romance Is a Bonus Book” and “Arthdal Chronicles.”

“CJ ENM and Studio Dragon represent the gold standard in Korean entertainment and we are excited and honored to work with them,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, in a statment. “This partnership with CJ ENM and Studio Dragon demonstrates our commitment to Korean entertainment and allows us to bring more top-tier Korean drama to Netflix members in Korea and all over the world.”

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“We’re thrilled to be partnering with both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon and look forward to a prosperous relationship for many years to come,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement.

“CJ ENM is leading the market and expanding its huge achievement in Korea to overseas. As we have continuously focused on strengthening borderless content and expanding global distribution, the partnership with Netflix will introduce Korean content to global audiences, while providing new experiences and values,” said Minheoi Heo, CEO of CJ ENM, in a statement.

“Today’s announcement is a recognition that Korean storytelling and production capabilities are beloved by global audiences and reaffirms the content creation prowess of both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon,” said Jinnie Choi, CEO of Studio Dragon, in a statement. “Studio Dragon will try its best to leap forward as a global major studio.”

As part of the partnership, CJ ENM will have the right to sell up to 4.99% of Studio Dragon shares to Netflix.

Chinese Thriller ‘Savage’ Coming to Blu-ray and Digital Dec. 3 From Well Go

The Chinese action-thriller Savage will debut on Blu-ray combo pack and digital Dec. 3 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The heist thriller set on a remote mountain in northeastern China follows a dogged detective as he squares off against a trio of violent crooks.  Buried by treacherous conditions at the top of Mt. Baekdu, the policeman must brave the extreme conditions until he’s relieved from his post. When a group of thieves stumbles into the station in search of safe shelter, the night turns into a fight for survival as the two sides must put aside their differences to outlast the night.

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Winner of the “New Currents Award” for Best Film at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival, Savage stars Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Ni Ni (The Thousand Faces of Dunjia), Liao Fan (Let the Bullets Fly), Huang Jue (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Liu Hua (The Monkey King), newcomer Zhang Yicong and Li Guangjie (Drug War). It is the directorial debut of  writer-director Cui Siwei (The Island).

Chinese Fantasy ‘Kung Fu Monster’ to Bow on Blu-ray Oct. 8 From Well Go

The Chinese fantasy actioner Kung Fu Monster will come out on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 8 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In this epic fantasy in the waning years of the Ming Dynasty, the Bruneian Empire wants to offer a rare creature to the nation as a gift and has tasked Ocean, a member of the Imperial Secret Police, to capture and tame the beast. Upon discovering the beast’s gentle and kind nature, Ocean works in secret to release the beast back to the wild, keeping it from being turned into a killing machine.

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The film stars Louis Koo (Kill Zone 2, The White Storm), Cheney Chen and Bea Hayden Kuo and is directed by Andrew Lau Wai-Keung.

Chinese Martial Arts Actioner ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ Launching on Disc July 23 From Well Go

Master Z: IP Man Legacy is coming to DVD and Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack July 23 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Legendary action director Yuen Woo-Ping draws on a top-notch cast (Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, and Max Zhang) to create a martial arts action film in the “Ip Man” universe. Following his defeat by Master Ip, Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang), tries to make a life with his young son in Hong Kong, waiting tables at a bar that caters to expats, but it’s not long before the mix of foreigners, money and triad leaders draw him once again to the fight.

Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and trailers.

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Russian WWII Drama ‘T-34’ Coming to Disc June 11 From Well Go

Inspired by true events in World War II, the Russian drama T-34 is rolling to DVD and Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD) June 11 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Set in 1944, the film follows a courageous group of Russian soldiers, led by young lieutenant Ivushkin, who manage to escape from German captivity in a half destroyed T-34 tank.

T-34 set an all-time record for opening weekend box office in Russia for a Russian-produced film. It stars Alexander Petrov, Viktor Dobronravov, Vinzenz Kiefer and Irina Starshenbaum.

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‘Reborn,’ ‘The Court’ and ‘Rough Justice’ From ‘Walter Presents’ Library Streaming in May From PBS

PBS Distribution will begin streaming three international crime dramas from the “Walter Presents” library on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May.

The channel is available to Prime members for $5.99 a month after a seven-day free trial.

Streaming beginning May 10 is “Reborn,” a French crime-thriller taking witness-protection to a whole new level. Felon Alexis Marceau gives up his criminal friends in exchange for immunity. With his new identity, he also has reconstructive surgery to make him unidentifiable. Six years later, he is known as Matthias Leblanc. He is working in Turin, Italy, as a construction worker when judge Delphine Baron offers to revoke his house arrest, in exchange for three months of service. This means working undercover at his old job where he and his partner ran a small shipping business controlling the traffic of illicit goods. Matthias is hesitant but accepts — no one knows he’s alive or will recognize his new face. But he knows the people, place and methods better than anyone. Once undercover and back in Dunkirk, Alexis struggles to keep away from his ex-wife and son. And to make matters worse, his affection for his old life returns — the camaraderie, the easy money and the adrenaline.

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Streaming beginning May 24 is the second season of “The Court.” The Icelandic legal drama follows the professional and personal lives of three Reykjavik lawyers — Logi, Brynhildur and Hordur. Logi is one of the country’s most brilliant legal minds and the most troubled. He’s determined to uncover the truth about what really happened one night in his youth, an incident that left a man dead and Logi in prison for manslaughter. However, his internal demons threaten to send him spiraling into alcoholism. Standing between Logi and self-destruction are his two lawyer colleagues — Brynhildur and Hordur — whose own private lives are far from simple.

Streaming beginning May 31 is the Belgian crime drama “Rough Justice.” Set in Antwerp, Belgium, the series, based on the novels by Toni Coppers, follows superintendent Liese Meerhout as she leads her close-knit team in the homicide division to the bottom of the city’s darkest crimes. Always seeking to protect the vulnerable and maintain justice, she is not afraid to push the boundaries to get to the bottom of even the most complex cases — usually using unorthodox methods. But when haunting emails from an anonymous sender start appearing in her inbox, a case she thought she had long put behind her resurfaces, and the usually steely and implacable superintendent becomes unnerved.

‘Golden Job’ Coming on Digital and Blu-ray April 9 From Well Go

The Chinese heist-actioner Golden Job is due on digital and Blu-ray Disc April 9 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Reuniting the lead actors from Young and Dangerous, the film stars stars Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Chin Ka Lok and Jerry Lamb in a story about a group of former mercenaries who reunite to plan an epic heist: taking a truck full of medicine held by a foreign intelligence agency to supply an refugee camp in need. When they find the truck is actually filled with stolen gold, the band of brothers realize they’ve been double-crossed by one of their own.

“Contact,” “The Court” and “Inspector Falke” Among Six “Walter Presents” Foreign Series Streaming on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video in March

PBS Distribution in March will begin streaming six new series from the “Walter Present’s” library on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel –– “Contact,” “The Court,” “Dead Beautiful,” “Flight HS13,” “Framed” and “Inspector Falke.”

“Walter Presents,” which launched in January 2016 in the United Kingdom as a video-on-demand service and is a joint venture between Channel 4 and Global Series Network, partnered with PBS Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in October 2018. The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is available to Prime members for $5.99 a month after a seven-day free trial.

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Eight episodes of the French series “Contact” will be available March 4. The series follows Thomas Jouannet, who was sentenced to life after avenging his parent’s brutal murder and the kidnapping of his sister. He is freed after serving only 15 years when he makes a deal with the FBI to use his extraordinary ability — psychometry — to solve crimes. When he touches an object, he feels the “psychic footprint” of its owner, envisioning its owner’s memories, emotions and secrets. However, there is one stipulation — he cannot leave the United States. But, once he receives a mysterious package containing an object that shows his brother in trouble, Thomas heads for France. Having broken the arrangement, he now has the FBI on his tail while trying to save his brother’s life.

Also streaming beginning March 4 are six episodes of the Icelandic series “The Court.” The legal drama follows the professional and personal lives of three Reykjavik lawyers. Logi is one of the country’s most brilliant legal minds and the most troubled. He’s determined to uncover the truth about what really happened one night in his youth — an incident that left a man dead and Logi in prison for manslaughter. But his internal demons threaten to send him spiraling into alcoholism. Standing between Logi and self-destruction are his colleagues — two lawyers, Brynhildur and Hordur, whose own private lives are far from simple.

Streaming beginning March 11 are nine episodes of the French crime drama “Dead Beautiful,” It centers on the self-loathing police commissioner Martin — a compassionate investigator who is dedicated to solving some of the most shocking crimes against women. While trying to solve these crimes, Martin also juggles the three women in his life: his ex-wife, the police psychiatrist and his girlfriend, journalist Marion. Each episode pits Martin against a new killer.

Streaming beginning March 18 are 10 episodes of the Dutch thriller “Flight HS13,” which follows Liz and Simon, a seemingly happily married couple who have everything they could possibly want ‚ a lovely son, a beautiful home and successful careers. But their perfect life is over when Simon boards a plane — flight HS13 — to attend a conference in Barcelona.  A few hours later, Liz’s world collapses when she hears Simon’s plane has crashed. No one survived. Very quickly her grief turns to shock and disbelief when she finds out that Simon never actually checked in for the flight. His name was not on the passenger list.

Streaming beginning March 25 are 10 episodes from another Dutch series “Framed.” Communications consultant Michael Bellicher has just received a promotion at his software firm and a party is being held in his honor to announce it. When an ex-lover appears, however, he lapses back into his unfaithful ways and things begin to spiral out of control. His wife is sick of it and packs her bags. Things suddenly get even worse when that ex-lover suddenly turns up dead. His identity is stolen, and he is forced to become a fugitive when he is framed for the murder.  Though family and friends doubt his innocence, Bellicher eventually forms an alliance with his newly transgender sister and a computer hacker, Vince. Together, they set out to uncover what is really going on.

Also streaming beginning March 25 are seven episodes of the German series “Inspector Falke.” Thorsten Falke is a devoted police officer who has traded in a family and a social life in the name of justice. Having grown up in the throes of Hamburg’s grimy underbelly, he is now proud to take a stand against crime in his hometown. Falke and his partner, Katharina Lorenz, work to bring down the ruthless criminal gangs threatening Hamburg.

Best Animated Film Oscar Nominee ‘Mirai’ Coming to Disc and Digital April 9 From Universal

The Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Film, Mirai, is coming out on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, digital (including Movies Anywhere) and on demand April 9 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Japanese film follows a young boy who embarks on a fantastical journey when his new baby sister is born and learns the importance of family. The voice cast includes John Cho, (Star Trek, Searching), Rebecca Hall (The TownChristine), and Daniel Dae Kim (“LOST,” “Hawaii Five-0”).

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Mirai is the first animated feature from Japan to garner a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature and is the 2019 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Feature — Independent.

Bonus features on Blu-ray and digital include Japanese cast interviews, in which the cast of the original language version of Mirai is interviewed by host Hiroyuki Amano; “Mirai at Cannes Film Festival,” in which director Mamoru Hosoda and Moka Kamishiraishi (voice of Kun) attend the Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere of Mirai; “The New World of Mamoru Hosoda,” a behind-the-scenes look at Studio Chizu with Hosoda as he builds a new world for Mirai; “Mirai in Japan,” in which the  the director and cast of Mirai greet audiences across Japan following the release of the film; “Mamoru Hosoda Visits Toyoma Prefecture,” in which Gen Hoshino (voice of Father) gets a special tour of Studio Chizu guided by the director; and a message from the director and Japanese cast of Mirai to their future selves.

Bonus features on Blu-ray, digital and DVD include an interview with the director; “Visiting Studio Chizu,” in which Gen Hoshino (voice of Father) gets a special tour of the studio guided by the director; trailers and TV spots.

Oscar Nominee ‘Capernaum’ Coming to Disc and Digital March 26 From Sony

Capernaum, Lebanon’s Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and digital March 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed and co-written by Nadine Labaki, Capernaum (“Chaos”) features a cast of non-professional actors led by Zain al Rafeea in a debut performance as a 12-year-old boy fending for himself, surviving the dangers of the city streets by his wits. He flees his parents and, to assert his rights, takes them to court, suing them for the “crime” of giving him life.

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In addition to the Oscar nomination, Capernaum was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and won three awards at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, including the Jury Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. The film was also an Official Selection at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Special features include a commentary track with director-writer Nadine Labaki and composer-producer Khaled Mouzanar; a Q & A with Labaki, Mouzanar and actor Zain Al Rafeea; and a making-of featurette detailing the process of bringing the story to life.

The film is in Arabic and Amharic with English subtitles.