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Oscar-nominated Korean diaspora film follows ‘lives we leave behind

Oscar-nominated Korean diaspora film follows ‘lives we leave behind

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Oscar-nominated Korean diaspora film follows 'lives we leave behind

A Korean-Canadian director’s debut feature film — a quiet romance exploring time, longing and lost chances — has arrived in South Korea for theatre release after garnering two Oscar nominations.

Ever since South Korea’s “Parasite” became the first non-English language film to win a Best Picture Oscar in 2020, works by Korean diaspora filmmakers have witnessed a significant surge of global interest.

Celine Song’s “Past Lives” comes alongside the critical success of other works featuring the Korean overseas experience, such as “Minari”, “Pachinko” and Netflix’s “Beef”.

The film follows a Korean-American woman in New York who is visited by her childhood crush from Seoul more than 20 years after she abruptly left South Korea for North America.

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It was a favourite at last year’s Sundance, won best picture at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards and has received two nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards: best picture and best original screenplay.

The project was inspired by Song’s own experience — drinking with her husband who does not speak Korean and her childhood friend who was visiting from South Korea in New York — where she had to act as an interpreter for the gathering.

“As I was doing the interpretation, I also realised that I was interpreting two parts of my own story, my personal history itself and my identity,” Song said at a press conference in Seoul.

Her film skillfully explores what it means to live in the realm of “what ifs”, and one’s complex relationship with a younger self that exists solely in the past and in places they no longer inhabit.

“We are not fantasy characters nor do we traverse multiple universes or parallel dimensions,” Song said in an interview with AFP and others, when asked about the film’s title.

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“But because we pass through so much time and space, and because we age and we relocate, I believe that there are always lives that we end up leaving behind.”

Time and closure

“Past Lives” is South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM’s first joint project with Hollywood’s indie film studio A24, which counts films such as the Oscar-winning Korean-American tale “Minari” and absurdist immigrant comedy-drama “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in its catalogue.

One-third of “Past Lives” was shot in South Korea, with the remaining portions filmed in the United States. Its distribution is being handled by A24 in North America and CJ in Asia.

CJ ENM — which has backed film hits including “Parasite” and local blockbusters such as “Ode to My Father” — said “Past Lives” is part of its strategy to diversify into the global market.

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“It is difficult for us to compete in the United States with a movie that goes up against a Marvel series” with huge budgets, Jerry Kyoungboum Ko, CJ ENM’s head of film business, said.

The company’s strength lies in its focus on Asia, and CJ ENM aims to leverage that by collaborating with up-and-coming talents from both domestic and international backgrounds who have fresh and authentic stories linked to the region, he added.

While diasporic tales have recently garnered considerable attention in Hollywood, stories of loss and places are “no longer exclusive to immigrants themselves” in the modern world, director Song said.

“When we screened this movie in Ireland, there was an Irish person who was moved to tears because it reminded him of his girlfriend whom he had left behind in Dublin, while he’s currently residing in Glasgow.”

Song said her film also explores the concept of closure.

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“In life, there are moments when we say goodbye to (things and people) in a proper manner. However, there are also instances where we neglect to do so because we just think it’s insignificant,” she said.

“We come to realise how fortunate it is to be able to say goodbyes properly, how much of a gift it is.”

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Virat Kohli’s restaurant set to open in Hyderabad

Virat Kohli’s restaurant set to open in Hyderabad

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Virat Kohli's restaurant set to open in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, known for its rich culinary heritage, is all set to welcome a new celebrity-owned restaurant.

We are speaking about the launch of One 8 Commune, an eatery owned by none other than cricket icon Virat Kohli.

After winning hearts in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, One 8 Commune is set to open its doors in Hyderabad.

The excitement is palpable among Virat Kohli’s fans as One 8 Commune prepares to make its mark in Hyderabad’s bustling Hi-Tech City area.

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Located at RMZ The Loft, Knowledge City, the restaurant is poised to become a go-to spot for both tech professionals and families looking for a dining experience that combines style and comfort.

The anticipation has been building ever since the official Instagram page of One 8 Commune teased Hyderabadi foodies with a post captioned, “Hyderabad – Are you ready? Opening soon in the heart of HiTec City.

Get ready to level up your communing experience.”

The restaurant is now taking reservations for the 24th of May and onwards, signaling the start of a new chapter in Hyderabad’s dining scene.

Launched in 2017, One 8 Commune has quickly become a favorite among food enthusiasts, known for its comfortable and authentic ambiance.

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Sania seems happy as she shares nameplate for her house with son Izhaan

Sania seems happy as she shares nameplate for her house with son Izhaan

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Sania seems happy as she shares nameplate for her house with son Izhaan

Sania Mirza is currently enjoying a peaceful life with her son Izhaan Mirza Malik who is said to be affected by his parents’ divorce. 

A while ago, she gave a peek into her happy life with her little boy and her best friends.

Amid a busy work schedule, Sania Mirza is making sure to spend some time with her son Izhaan and unwind with her besties too.

She shared a photo gallery consisting of all the wonderful memories she made in the past days.

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The photo dump opened with a nameplate with her and her son’s name on it.

She also dropped multiple selfies of herself and Izhaan. In one picture, there’s a coffee cup that reads, ‘Choose to be happy’ while another says, ‘Fueled by caffeine and sarcasm.’

Soon after, her friend and actress Sagarika Ghatge Khan went to the comments section and showered red hearts on those wholesome images.

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Ranbir Kapoor’s film ‘Ramayan’ halted over copyright issue

Ranbir Kapoor’s film ‘Ramayan’ halted over copyright issue

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Ranbir Kapoor's film 'Ramayan' halted over copyright issue

 It has been rumoured that Ramayan has been halted.

The film stars Ranbir Kapoor as the lead character of Ram.

According to reports, allegations of copyright infringement have led to the pausing of the shooting schedule.

Producer Madhu Mantena was apparently part of the original production team.

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Although he backed out of the film, Madhu has reportedly requested the crew to halt production until a few copyright issues are sorted.

A source stated: “Filming continued for a few days after the notice, but has been on hold since last week.

“The legalities need to be sorted out and filming will only resume after a consensus is reached on the matter.”

In May 2024, it was also reported that producers intended to increase security on the film’s set.

Ramayan is set to be directed by Nitesh Tiwari, and will also star Lara Dutta, Arun Govil, and Sunny Deol.

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In April 2024, it was announced that Yash was signed as a co-producer for the ambitious project.
Delving into his involvement, he said: “As a third-generation filmmaker who has spent the last thirty years building a garage start-up into the world’s largest and most celebrated company in its field, I feel that all of my experience has been leading to this moment.

“Our interpretation will be told without compromise and presented in such a way that Indian hearts will swell with pride to see their culture brought to the rest of the world in this way.

“We are assembling the very best global talent – from our filmmakers, to our stars, to our crews, to our backers and investors – to tell this epic story with the care, attention, and conviction that it deserves.

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