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Hawaii Honors Lee Joon-gi

2007/09/04 | Permalink | Source

South Korean star Lee Joon-gi is gaining popularity in the US. The 27th Hawaiian International Film Festival (HIFF) has announced that Lee will be this year's recipient of its Rising Star award. The award acknowledges the actor's work, media image, and growing star-power in the global arena. The festival, which runs October 18 28, will present the award at "An Evening with Lee Joon-gi" on Friday, October 19 along with a screening of the US premiere of one of his latest films.

The young actor rose to near instant stardom at home for his role in the box office super-hit "The King and the Clown", in which he played the role of the gender-bending Konggil, an unwitting court-jester. His popularity in Asia soared thereafter, and was sealed with the Korean-Japanese co-production "Virgin Snow", in which he played opposite Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki. Other films starring the model-turned-actor include "Fly, Daddy, Fly" (2006), and "Flying Boys" (2004).

Lee also has a role in Korea's summer blockbuster "May 18", about the events surrounding the Gwangju Massacre of 1980. The film will also screen at HIFF and has been nominated for the festival's top award, the Golden Orchid for Best Feature of 2007. The film covers one of the most tragic events in Korean history when the repressive regime of General Chun Doo-hwan resulted in a citizens uprising in the city of Gwangju which was subsequently crushed with government troops entering the city and firing into crowds of civilian demonstrators. The film has sold over seven million tickets at the local box office.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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