Entrepreneur and television host Grace Lee has a perfect vision to elevate movie and series production in the Philippines. She believes in Filipino talents which is why her company, Glimmer Inc., has been pulling all stops for local talents to learn from South Korean productions.
Lee’s company aims to bring the best Korean entertainment collaboration to the Philippines and Southeast Asia while it continuously works to produce Korean and localized content for regional audiences, ultimately bridging the cultural and production gap between the two countries.
Speaking to Manila Standard Entertainment, the 39-year-old TV personality talked about her ultimate dream for Glimmer including her plans to put the Philippines on the map of world-class TV and movie making.
“Through Glimmer, my vision is for us to develop the production level of the Philippines through cultural and talent exchange. Korea is so ahead of us when it comes to content creation and development. I hope that with the help and mentoring of Korean production teams, Filipinos will be able to create their own content that will be recognized worldwide,” Lee stated.
She saw the opportunity to do movie licensing, co-production, and distribution—which happened a year before the pandemic closed all international borders—and believed that it was a perfect avenue to make a difference in the industry. Lee, who considers herself as a Korean with a Filipino heart, established Glimmer by giving Filipino talents international in mind.
“We almost closed down the company because of the pandemic but we were able to sustain the business because of numerous inquiries. Korea sees the Philippines as a good partner in doing co-productions and distributions,” she revealed.
“At the same time, Filipinos are smart, we’re driven. I think it’s only a matter of time until we catch up,” she carried on.
Lee revealed that Glimmer already has big-ticket projects in the pipeline. She is now overseeing co-production agreements between Filipino and Korean film companies.
“We just finished a movie project that utilized 200 Filipino crew members and more than 30 well-known on-cam Filipino talents. Around 70 percent of the film was shot here,” she said. “Next year, we’re also planning to remake a Korean movie. This will utilize a Filipino cast, but the director and producer will be Korean. Post-production will also be in Korea.”
As part of her effort to put the Philippines on the world map of international entertainment, Glimmer will be bringing top Korean stars to the country for a grand event happening by the end of the year.
“I can only say so much about this project but what I can share is that top Korean leading men are coming to the Philippines to promote their movie,” she said adding that it is something that has not happened before.
“In fact, it hasn’t been done in Southeast Asia. The top actors usually just go to promote in Japan or China. Now, Filipino fans will be able to see their movie idols up close,” she went on.
Meanwhile, after the successful bringing The Round Up (No. 1 South Korean film for 2022) to the local cinemas, Glimmer recently held another successful premiere for the action-packed movie Hunt, the directorial debut of Squid Game actor Lee Jung-jae.
Hunt has been recognized by Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.
Taking place in the ‘80s against the backdrop of a cold war between the two Koreas, Hunt tells an engrossing spy tale of agencies conducting a smoke-out operation to root out a mole. Although the circumstances surrounding the film are based on actual events in history, the story itself is a work of fiction in its entirety.
Two high-ranking agents Park Pyong-ho (Lee Jung-jae) and Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung) are pitted against each other to find the mole first.
The psychological tension rises as they attempt to hunt down each other. The story unfolds at break-neck speed, and you will be sitting on the edge of your seat until the very moment the spy is revealed.
Park’s crucial mission to bring in a high-profile defector goes awry due to a leak by the mole while Kim is given a mission to investigate everyone within the agency without prejudice. His prime suspect is none other than Park and his unit.
Both agents suspect each other, and tension fills up the screen as they duel it out revealing mind-blowing secrets along the way. The psychological warfare between the two leads to a massive plot involving the assassination of the South Korean president which pulls the audience along with the lead actors’ deep dilemma over their own principles.
Hunt opened in 100 theaters in the Philippines on August 31.