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Korean Film News

Korean film industry paves the way for cooperative growth

Jul 18, 2012
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On Monday July 16th the film division of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism met with industry heads and government representatives in Seoul in order to sign into effect a “Declaration of Cooperative Growth for Korean Film,” which will affect movie-related companies of all sizes.
 
The need for such a declaration comes after a fierce debate throughout last September sparked by the Council for the Cooperative Growth of Korean Film, which is composed of representatives from nearly all sectors of film world. Eventually, industry players from labor, management and government finally agreed to open discussion about a possible agreement.
 
With the overall goal of increasing competitiveness and cooperatively resolving the polarity between large media firms and small production companies, film industry representatives began to draw up an institutional framework that would permit cooperative growth beginning last October 21st.
 
At the July 16th signing, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism CHOI Kwang-sik announced, “With this agreement we have of course not only laid the foundation for creating an environment of fair practice within our domestic film industry, but also set a benchmark for other industries with our excellent model.”
 
He continued, “By faithfully executing today’s declaration, firms of all sizes have established relations which permit cooperative grow and mutual development, and with this, the expansion of Korean film’s worldwide audience from 100 million to 200 million people will not be far in the future. Minister CHOI also emphasized that “This agreement is not the end of a debate regarding cooperative development, but is rather a new point of departure,” and encouraged “all film industry personnel to work in concert with one another.”
 
In order to make the sure the declaration addressed all pertinent issues and concerns, 26 representatives from Council for the Cooperative Growth of Korean Film and 23 labor representatives worked within three subcommittees -- infrastructural development, standard insurance policies, and creative and physical labor -- and attempted to resolve all existing debates.
 
Among the resolutions outlined in the declaration, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) agreed to expand its program preventing unfair business practices by opening an Unfair Business Practices Notification and Monitoring Center. A new system for the distribution of statistics regarding monthly admissions/ticket sales will also be implemented, permitting producers and distributors more precise accounting and projections. Small film productions will now be guaranteed at least one week of screening time, with overlapping showtimes eliminated. Additionally, film staffs will receive increased insurance coverage and a ‘standard scriptwriting contract’ will be established. A development plan for joint financing arrangements will be put into place and the unaccounted-for distribution of free admission tickets will come to an end. Finally, regarding cinema technologies, the declaration also guarantees the disclosure of virtual print fees (VPF) and the organization of an optimal pricing structure for the purchase of new projection and display technologies.
 
The signing was attended by over 100 people. Joining Minister CHOI was Council for the Cooperative Growth of Korean Film Chairperson and Busan International Film Festival Honorary Chair KIM Dong-ho, director IM Kwon-taek, current KOFIC board member and actress YOO Ji-in, actor SHIN Hyun-joon, actress KONG Hyo-jin, and actor AHN Sung-ki, who was representing the Good Downloader Campaign, of which he is the current chairperson. Joining KIM Kab-soo from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism’s Content Policy Division and KOFIC Chairman KIM Eui-suk were representatives from every major film industry organization, federation or council as well as regional film commissions and industry heads from firms such as CJ E&M, CGV, Lotte Shopping & Lotte Entertainment, Showbox Mediaplex, N.E.W., Sovik Venture Capital, CJ Venture Capital, Digital Idea and more.
 
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