This story was created in collaboration with CJ ENM for a fee.
As the Korean entertainment industry is attracting more and more attention from the world, the entertainment giant CJ ENM has launched the Visionary Awards to select “visionaries” who lead the entertainment industry. Ten winners were honored at the 2023 Visionary Awards hosted by CJ ENM in Seoul on January 8: (G)I-DLE, Chung Seo-kyung, Don Lee, IU, Kim Hye-soo, Lee Jin-ju, Lee Jung-jae, Nah Yung-suk, Park Chan-wook, and Park Eun-bin.
The ceremony, which started with the arrival of the red carpet, was live-streamed on YouTube and TVING, an online streaming platform launched by CJ ENM. During the 2023 Visionary Awards, all the honorees present delivered their acceptance speeches, sharing a common vision to spread K-entertainment to a wider global audience.
Don Lee said to his visionaries: “I hope that the Visionary winners will do their best to create entertainment for audiences across the globe that transcends language and boundaries.”
The ceremony was followed by an Open House social. Professionals from personalities of CJ ENM and its affiliated companies such as production studios and record labels come together to share their inspirations and insights. Fifth Season Co-CEOs Chris Rice and Graham Taylor, now part of the CJ ENM family, greeted us and shared their excitement for the upcoming roster.
The event also featured a talk segment where invited speakers shared their thoughts on the Visionary winners and the future of the entertainment industry.
“I hope everyone participating in the 2023 Visionary Awards can share their inspiration and experience,” said CJ Vice President Miky Lee in his opening remarks at the ceremony. “As a global entertainment powerhouse, CJ ENM will ensure that talented artists and creators can realize their full potential and dreams.”
The Visionary Awards campaign reflects the company’s status as a leader in the Korean entertainment industry. CJ ENM is credited for introducing Korean content to international audiences and helping create a place for Korean content in the global entertainment industry.
The entertainment giant, which has played a key role in the global expansion of the Korean entertainment industry, started its vision in 1995 as an early investor in DreamWorks.Since then, CJ ENM has been the proud producer and distributor of critically acclaimed films including Oscar-winning films parasite and the 2022 decided to leave, won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival. So far, 12 films financed by CJ ENM have been invited to Cannes. Following the acquisition of an 80% stake in the scripted business unit of American premium content studio Fifth Season last year, the company has been cultivating original films and looking to the future.
It also created the world’s largest K-culture festival, KCON, in 2012 as part of its goal to introduce the world not only to K-pop, but everything from food to beauty. Fast forward to 2022 and KCON is now the iconic festival that K-pop and K-culture fans around the world look forward to every year. The festival has attracted fans in the United States, Japan, Mexico, France and more.
Leading the global Hallyu phenomenon for more than 25 years, the company is taking another giant leap to honor the next wave of creators and artists who will set trends and contribute to the entertainment industry with their originality. These “visionaries” articulated the future of the entertainment industry and demonstrated ingenuity in their particular art form.
The selection process for the 2023 Visionary Award winners involved quantitative data analysis and a judging panel of approximately 60 industry experts. This year, the company joined forces with Endeavor Analytics, the research and insights arm of global sports and entertainment company Endeavor. The five key selection criteria are: whether individuals have achieved extraordinary achievement, influenced industries beyond entertainment, shattered stereotypes, created new genres or roles, and whether they have had a global impact.
Past Visionary winners include music groups BTS and BLACKPINK, leading the rise of global K-pop; director Hwang Dong-hyuk, who is currently producing the second season of the global hit squid game; Bong Joon-ho, the first South Korean director to win an Oscar for Best Picture parasite.
“Where does the power of K-entertainment, which transcends borders, come from? For us, the answer to this question is originality, something unique to everyone,” said CJ ENM CEO Koo Chang-gun at the ceremony said. “That’s why we’ve held the Visionary Awards since 2020 – because we believe the power of entertainment comes directly from the people.”