Korean Film Brings Korean Wave to South America

by JI Yong-jin    11.30.2012
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Korean-Argentine Film Industries Sign MOU for Mutual Exchange

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 the 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 the diplomatic relation between Korea and Argentina and to introduce new Korean directors to South America, where Korean films are still not very well known. Most of the films were selected among Korean works 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, the short LIST directed by HONG Sangsoo, and Doomsday Book co-directed by KIM Jee-woon and YIM Pil-sung were 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 mutual exchange of films between the two nations. Within the MOU are included support for 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 hope this special program can create a chance 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 in attendance. A large number of members from Argentine press such as ‘Clarin’, ‘La Nacion’, and ‘Fotogramas’ showed how high their interest in Korean films was.
KOFIC is also seeking another way to promote Korean films and the Korean film industry by participating with 7 Korean film studios in Ventana Sur, the biggest film market in South America that is being held from November 30th to December 3rd.

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