27th Magnolia Awards

The Magnolia Awards are here, and it’s another year of wishing that my favourite shows, or at least recipients deserving of the accolades, take home the awards. It’s always a delicate balancing act when it comes to giving out the awards, but I’m happy to report that there were no major surprises tonight (apart from the fact that Liu Lin didn’t win…again). Best Actress was the closest race this year, and Tong Yao edged out Reyizha to take home the award.

Judges include director Liu Jin (White Deer Plain), director Fu Dongyu (The Thunder), Tao Hong (A Little Reunion), Tong Dawei (A Love For Dilemma) and screenwriter Zhang Lei (Chinese Style Relationship).

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Zhang Yimou’s espionage thriller gears up for premiere

I didn’t enjoy Zhang Yimou’s Shadow and One Second as much as I’d hoped, but Impasse / Cliff Walkers should be right up my alley. Granted, I’m not expecting the film to surpass The Message, but surely you can’t go too wrong with a cast like this?

Starring Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Qin Hailu, Zhu Yawen, Ni Dahong and the director’s latest starlet Liu Haocun, the film is slated to premiere on April 30th.

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Final promos for big-budget fantasy film Assassin in Red

Assassin in Red (A Writer’s Odyssey in overseas markets)stars Lei Jiayin as the father who is out to save his daughter from a monster, and Dong Zijian as the novelist who created it. Yang Mi plays the antagonist’s henchwoman. Costars include Guo Jingfei, Yu Hewei, Dong Jie and Tong Liya.

Directed by Lu Yang (Brotherhood of Blades series), the film will premiere on Chinese New Year’s Day.

Dong Zijian BTS, Yang Mi BTS, Lei Jiayin BTS

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Zhang Ziyi’s debut drama Monarch Industry premieres today

Ode to Shangyang / Monarch Industry revolves around the life of Wang Xuan (Zhang Ziyi), a noble lady who joins rebel general Xiao Qi (Zhou Yiwei) in unifying the kingdom.

The 68 episode drama will premiere on Youku in 12 hours (Jan 9th 10am CN time). The drama releases 10 episodes this weekend, and 2 episodes every Mon-Wed beginning next week.

Zhang Ziyi BTS, Themesong by Zhou Shen & Hu Xia

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First look at Sun Li, Mark Chao in The Ideal City

The Ideal City 理想之城 stars Sun Li (I Will Find You A Better Home) as Su Xiao, a quantity surveyor who claws her way back up the ladder in the male-dominated architecture industry after undergoing various tribulations. Mark Chao plays her love interest Xia Ming.

Based on the novel by Ruohua Ranran and directed by Liu Jin (The Perfect Partner), the 40 episode drama recently wrapped up filming.

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Lei Jiayin, Yang Mi’s Assassin in Red teases parallel worlds in new trailer

Assassin in Red stars Lei Jiayin as the father who is tasked with killing a novelist (Dong Zijian) to save his daughter, yet ends up getting written into the novel himself. Yang Mi plays the alluring assassin Tuling.

Directed by Lu Yang (Brotherhood of Blades), the film is set for a 12 February 2021 release.

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Zhang Yimou’s crime film releases teaser

Zhou Dongyu, Lei Jiayin

Under the Light 坚如磐石 stars Lei Jiayin as Su Jianming, a police officer who walks right into a trap set up by the rich and powerful Li Zhitian (Yu Hewei), and a whole string of unexpected dirty secrets and cover ups are unearthed. Zhang Guoli, Zhou Dongyu, Sun Yizhou, Tian Yu and Joan Chen costar.

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Yu Hewei, Wu Gang, Han Xue begin filming The People’s Justice

The People’s Justice 人民的正义 is helmed by Li Lu (In The Name of the People) and stars Yu Hewei, Wu Gang and Han Xue as the leads. It will focus on the Chinese criminal justice system and the rich and powerful who make underhand deals to avoid their prison sentences.

This drama is written by Yu Fei (Razor), and began filming a couple of days ago. Zhou Meisen, the original screenwriter of In The Name of the People, was hired to write The People’s Assets, the other spin-off that stars Jin Dong, Yan Ni, Qin Lan, Chen Xiao and Zhao Lixin.

Xu Zheng-produced pet film stars Zhang Zifeng, Wu Lei, Wallace Chung, William Chan, Yang Zishan

With a track record of supporting talented new directors by producing films like Dying to Survive, A or B, and How Long Will I Love U, Xu Zheng will hopefully continue this trend with his latest production, pet-themed ensemble film Adoring 宠爱 by new director Yang Zi.

Adoring finished filming early in the summer and is set for a Dec. 31, 2019 release date. The film feature six segments – Yu Hewei X Li Landi, Wu Lei X Zhang Zifeng, Yang Zishan X Wallace Chung, William Chan X Zhong Chuxi, Tan Jianci X Kan Qingzi, and poor Guo Qilin all by himself (but with a puppy!) . Can you name all the cast members from the Xu Zheng-judged Season Two of I Am An Actor?

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