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"Le Grand Chef" Whets Appetites at AFM

2007/11/01 Source

Released locally November 1st, Show East's cooking drama "Le Grand Chef" is drawing strong interest from buyers at the 2007 American Film Market, currently running Oct 31 Nov 7 in LA. The film has been sold to Festive Films for Singapore and Taiwan, to Sundream for Hong Kong, to A.O.E. for Malaysia and to M Pictures for Thailand. Talks to take the film to China are also being negotiated.

Directed by Jeon Yoon-soo, known previously for melodramas such as "My Girl and I" (2005) and "Besame Mucho" (2001), "Le Grand Chef" moves out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. The film is anticipated locally for its parallels with pan-Asian hit Korean TV drama "Jewel In the Palace" ("Dae Jang Geum"), which had a palace cook as its chief character.

The film is based on a best-selling graphic novel by Huh Young-man, which also raises expectations for locals after the successful adaptation of another of HEO's novel's resulted in the 2006 hit "Tazza: The High Rollers" ("Tazza: The High Rollers"). The new film tells the story of a pair of young chefs who enter a tense cooking rivalry to win a long-lost knife used centuries before by the 'Grand Royal Chef' a title given to the top male chef in the country who cooked for royal banquets. During the Japanese occupation, the last Grand Royal Chef used the knife to cut off his arms in refusal to cook for the Japanese.

Show East is billing the film as Korea's first feature to deal intimately with culinary creation. Park Chul-soo's "301, 302" touched on the subject of cooking, but "Le Grand Chef" is the first to focus entirely on the world of gourmet cuisine. The film stars Kim Kang-woo and Im Won-hee as the competing chefs, and TV actress Lee Ha-na as a network producer assigned to capture the competition.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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