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Korean Film News
Korean Wave Awakes in South America
Dec 07, 2012
- Writerby Woody KIM
KOFIC and Korean Film Go to Argentina
After holding a special program for new Korean directors at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival from November 17th to 25th, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) joined the South American film market to embark on promoting Korean films in the region.
At the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the biggest film festival in South America and so-called ‘South American Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)’, a special program for new Korean directors was held. The program aimed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Argentina and let new Korean directors become known to South America, where Korean films are not very well known yet. Most of the screened works were selected among Korean films directed by new directors and highlighted at film festivals in 2011-12.
The 8 films that screened in the program were Bleak Night directed by YOON Sung-hyun, Dangerously Excited by KOO Ja-hong, Hanaan by PAK Ruslan, Let Me Out by SOH Jae and KIM Chang-lae, Romance Joe by LEE Kwang-kuk, Sleepless Night by JANG Kun-jae, Super Virgin by BACK Seung-kee and Tony Rayns, the Not-so-Distant Observer by SEO Won-tae. In the ‘Panorama’ section, one of the official sections of the festival, Pieta, the Golden Lion winner, List, a short directed by HONG Sangsoo and Doomsday Book co-directed by KIM Jee-woon and YIM Pil-sung screened.
Meanwhile, KIM Eui-suk, the chairman of KOFIC met Liliana Mazure, the chairwoman of the Argentina Film Commission on November 19th (UTC-3) to sign an MOU for the mutual exchange of films between the two nations. The MOU includes provisions for the support of co-production, cooperation with mutual distribution and promotion of films through film festivals.
At the signing ceremony, KIM said, “It is an exceptional case that new directors of Korea receive attention in South America, where Korean films have almost never been popular. This shows that the status of Korean films has risen in the world.” He also said, “I expect this special program can create an opportunity for Korean films to meet more South American audiences.”
KOFIC also held the ‘Korean Film Night’ on November 19th (UCT-3) for local promotion of Korean films and invited people related to Argentine films. At the party, important figures including the director of the Mar Del Plata Jose Martinez Suarez, HAN Byeong-gil, the Korean ambassador in Argentina and LEE Jong-ryul, the head of South American Cultural Center were inattendance. A large number of members from Argentine press such as ‘Clarin’, ‘La Nacion’ and ‘Fotogramas’ also demonstrated their interest in Korean films.
KOFIC also joined the Argentine Ventana Sur Market along with 7 Korean film sales companies. KOFIC went to Argentina with seven Korean film studios to participate in the biggest film market in South America, Ventana Sur, which was held from November 30th to December 3rd. They joined the market with the purpose of vitalizing exchange between Korean and Argentine film industries, and held the ‘Korean Film Night’.
At the ‘Korean Film Night’, held at 7:30 p.m. on December 2nd (UCT-3), important figures related to Argentine film such as Bernardo BERGERET, the chairman of Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (INCAA, Argentine equivalence of KOFIC) and director of Ventana Sur, JEON Seung-hun, an aide at the Argentine Federal Ministry of Culture, Marcelo ALDERETE, a programmer of the Mar del Plata Film Festival, Marcelo PANOZZO, director of the Buenos Aires Festival International de Cine Independiente (BAFICI), and Bernado PALAU from the Mercado de Industrias Culturales Argentinas (MICA) as well as film-related people from other South American nations like Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia appeared, which demonstrated the high interest in the region for exchanges with the Korean film industry.
Seven Korean film sales companies attended Ventana Sur with KOFIC including CJ E&M, 9ers Entertainment, Daisy & Cinergy, FINECUT, Lotte Entertainment, M-Line Distribution and Mirovision, had more than 100 meetings with South American companies and held active discussions with them. South American people were very interested in co-production and collaboration between Korea and their countries and mentioned the possibilities of constant cooperation by inviting Korean films to content markets and film festivals in their countries.
KOFIC focused on supporting promotion to South America as part of a new market expansion project this year. They held the ‘Special Program for Korean New Director’s at the Mar del Plata Film Festival that took place in Argentina between November 17th and 25th. During the festival, tickets for most Korean films were sold out and Argentina’s media reported heavily about Korean film.
KIM Eui-suk, the chairman of KOFIC and Liliana MAZURE, chairwoman of INCAA signed an MOU for co-production and mutual distribution between Korea and Argentina at 2 p.m. on November 19th (UTC-3) to consolidate the foothold for cultural exchanges through the industrial domain and film.
As Korean film sales companies went in force to Ventana Sur, the biggest film market in South America, the footing for exchange between Korean and South American film industries has been established and further collaborative projects are expected to be discussed between Korea and South American companies later on.