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Bright Future of Northeast Asian Films

Jul 31, 2014
  • Writer by YUN Ina
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Cooperation between Korea National University of Arts and Beijing Film Academy

What is the future of Korean cinema? It is not easy to answer this question. But since cinema is an international language, it would be absurd to try and find the future of Korea in just Korea alone. 
This year, the Joint Film Production project between Film School of Korea National University of Arts (K-ARTS) and Beijing Film Academy (BFA) entered its tenth year. BFA is a prestigious film school that produced great Chinese filmmakers such as Jia Zhangke, Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. In addition, K-ARTS' program taught directors LEE Jeong-beom (Man from Nowhere and No Tears for the Dead), NA Hong-jin (The Yellow Sea and The Chaser) and July JUNG (A Girl at My Door). An event was held at PiFan2014 to commemorate the 10 years of joint collaboration between Korean and Chinese filmmakers.
In 2005, the two educational organizations pushed forward with join hands in expectation of the growth of Asian cinema. They predicted that young directors who have different background and experience could benefit from each other. This expectation paid off. Much attention was paid to joint Korea-China productions such as A Good Rain Knows, Late Autumn and Dangerous Liaisons over the past 10 years. This led to more co-productions in Asian cinema.  

It is imperative for students of the two schools to form a multinational production team and make films. A short film production system based on bilateral exchange is educational and more beneficial when comparing and learning from each other’s production systems. Two students are to form a group, each being a director and a producer. Each group hands in their synopsis and plans. When the final work is selected per each group, they shoot the films at each other’s schools. The two lead actors in each work should be one Korean and one Chinese. Students of the opposite school will be responsible for providing most of the production staff. OH In-chun who made the Moment in 2009 through this process debuted through the feature film Mourning Grave this year. Graduates of BFC debuted in the Chinese film market as well. These facts exemplify that the project is serving its purpose and benefitting the filmmakers from both sides.
Film School of Korea National University of Arts and the Japan Institute of the Moving Image began to hold the Korea-Japan Workshop. “Our ultimate goal is to build a Korea-China-Japan network,” said PYEON Jang-wan, head of K-ARTS. “We dream of seeing joint film education in the three countries and to become the future of Asian cinema in the process. PYEON explained that there is a film nation regardless of languages, production environments, race and culture. Anyone and everyone can become citizens of the film nation. This romantic dream came closer to reality throughout the 10 years. Through the collaborations, it'll be a good opportunity for people to see the future of Northeast Asian cinema.
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