Anti-Screen Quota Reduction Protests Continue
by Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)
As organized by leaders of the Korean film industry, various protests were staged against the halving of the nation's screen quota system. Some of the protests that drew the most attention were one-man protests by major Korean actors. This was followed up by a massive demonstration by people from the Korean film industry on Wednesday, February 8.
From July 1, 2006 Korean cinemas will no longer be required to screen domestic movies for 106-146 days of the year, with the required number being reduced to 73 days.
AHN Sung-ki one of the leaders of the committee fighting against the reduction was the first big name actor to stage a one-man protest at the Gwanghwamun intersection on Saturday, February 4. AHN is worried that the Korean film industry can't compete against the 200 Hollywood blockbusters made each year without protective measures. The actor PARK Joong-hoon was next in line to protest on Sunday.
JANG Dong-gun protested in Gwanghwamun on Monday. His protest attracted a huge crowd, making it impossible to continue his protest there for longer than 5 minutes. He continued his protest in front of the National Assembly. JANG said he wants the public to be informed correctly about the screen quota reduction. According to JANG, one Hollywood film can cost as much as a whole year's worth of Korean movies and without the protection of the present screen quota there wouldn't be a Korean movie like King and the Clown.
On Tuesday CHOI Min-sik started his protest by returning a medal and certificate for cultural merit that he had received back to the government. CHOI explained that he used to be proud of the decoration, but the medal is now a "sign of disgrace" as the screen quota cut will be "a death sentence for Korean film." He then continued protesting in Gwanghwamun.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 saw people from all fields of the film industry gathering to join in a massive protest. Famous film people such as actor JANG Dong-gun and director PARK Chan-wook were among the participants.
Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)