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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Korean Movie Industry

Korean movie was first screened in the early 1900. Was began with the short film. After than many movie houses was built and still showed short movies. in year of 50's and 60's there was a movie hit named Barefooted Youth (Maenbalui Cheongchun) starred with some young movie stars. But in 70's era, Korean film was decreased due to the beginning of television era eventhough some of movies was still got hit and popular on that time. In 80's, it began increase again in some of award achievements from the film festival that has got from Korean movies, it still continued in 90's and still improving in quality and quantity until now.
With various genres such as drama, comedy, action, historical, horror, thriller, eventhough animation, Korean movie step by step have gained the world's attention.

Some of the movies that have been achieved some movie festival awards :
The best director and best actress awards for 'Seopyeonje'at the 1st Shanghai International Film Festival. 'Old Boy' directed by Park Chan-wook, Grand Prix Award CANNES 2004
'Samaritan Girl' directed by Kim Ki-duk, Best Director Award, Berlin 2004
'3 Iron' directed by Kim Ki-duk, Best Director Award, VENICE 2004
'Secret Sunshine' Lead actor Jeon Do-yeon won the Best Actrees Award, CANNES 2007
'Thirst' directed by Park Chan-wook, Jury Prize, CANNES 2010
'Poetry' directed by Lee Chang-dong, Best Screen Play Award, CANNES 2010
'Pieta' directed by Kim Ki-duk, Golden Lion Award, Venice 2012.

서편제 Director : Im Kwon-taek. Casts : Oh Jeong-haeKim Myung-gon, Kim Gyoo-cheol


서편제 Seopyeonje is a Korean movie directed by Im Kwon-taek. It tells about drama of Pansori family struggling of life. This film was screened in CANES Film Festival and winning six Grand Bell Awards and six Korean Film Critic's Awards.
I have seen this movie, in my opinion although it's ended sadly, a lot of lesson of life are reflected in this movie. Note : due to adults scenes on this movie, children are not allowed to see it.

Therefore this industry is catching the professionals in this industry and the world audiences, not only that, Korea is becoming a country of new movie talents resources, also as the host on it's own country. According to Korean Film Council (KOFIC)'s statistic data, Korea has 2.081 movie screens, available throughout the country.
KOFIC or The Korean Film Council is a special organization entrusted by the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism aiming to support the development and promotion of Korean films. It established in year 1973 and is composed of nine commissioners appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in order to discuss and decide on major issues pertaining to development of Korean films.

Korean film financing is largely depends on equity financing which is devided into three major categories, they are the main investor, sub-investor and the production company which raises funds on it's own. Some of main investors for the film industry in Korea are CJ E&M, Showbox, Mediaplex Inc., and Lotte Entertainment. Based on KOFIC, profit sharing in Korean film industry that main investors will receive 50% of the ticket revenue from theaters, therefore receiving the majority of the profits of Korean films. After this a distribution fee of around 10% is deducted from the remaining revenue including the profit gained from ancillary markets. Then the costs used for production and marketing are recouped and 60% of the net profit is distributed to each investor (main,sub) and 40% of the net profit is distributed to the production company that produced the film. Recently, the net profit shares for production companies have gradually fallen due to the growing market domination by the main investors.

In addition of strongly fund investment, some other things that strengthen Korean film industry are the best quality of human resources in this industry. Not only talented actors and actresses, this industry also has highly competitive movie directors, witters and backstage crews. The works ethics also influencing in this industry, mixed with good skill, experting in post production also supporting of good infrastructures and facilites, makes them standing infront of the industry and unrivalled.

7번방의 선물
Miracle in Cell No. 7

Director : Lee Hwan-kyung, Casts : Ryoo Seung-ryong, Park Shin-hye

Achievements :
The first rank of yearly box office in Korea, 2013 Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize for Film - Ryoo Seung-ryong and 
Most Popular Actress - Park Shin-hye

In infrastructure, Korea has 28 main outdoor studios which are currently use either for film or TV drama. Most of them are located around Seoul, and then Jeolla Province, Chungbuk and Gyeongbuk Province. Most of the sets were heavily invested by the local goverments and TV stations. Most of them are using for various genres of movies, from modern themes to historical era. Besides outdoor studio, there are some studios that are provided for this industry.

One of outdoor movie set that I already visited is Jeonju Film Studio Complex. Located in Jeollabuk-do Province, Southwestern part of Korean peninsula where is gleaming of Korean traditional culture, arts and historical values. Jeonju also have hanok village that often visiting by the visitor frequently. Jeonju Film Studio Complex is quite restricted to be visited, that's why I was lucky to have an opportunity to visit it together with my fellow Worldwide Korea Blogger last year.

This studio has total area around 50.000 m2 devided with indoor studio and outdoor sets, with complete supporting facilities which are wire actions, chroma-key, water pressure control storages, equipment and rental building, RED ONE camera, cook lens set and GFM Dolly System. When I visited there, there was not any movie shooting but I have a change to look what is the movie studio looked a like. Looking some film sets in indoor studio. It was fun actually, especially I have known my favorite actor has been taken some scenes on this location.

One of Korean movie that I have already seen with the film shot located in Jeollabuk-do :

웰컴 투 동막골 Welcome to Dongmakgol

Director : Park Kwang-hyun, Casts : Jung Jae-young, Shin Ha-kyun, Kang Hye-jung, Im Ha-ryong,Seo Jae-kyung, Ryu Deok-hwan, Steve Taschler

Year 2005 Blue Dragon Film Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Most Popular Film (Audience Choice)

Korean Film Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Music, Best New Director.

Director's Cut Awards for Best Actor.

Year 2006

Grand Bell Awards for Best Supporting Actress.

Produced in year 2005 directed by Park Kwang-hyun, this film is setting of Korean War.
It tells about some of soldiers was lifed in a remote village where the people live harmonious.
Some funny scenes have been screened in this film. It is quite educated film and good to be seen by everybody. One of locations had been screened on this movie is Gochang Hakwon Farm.

Gochang Hakwon Farm. Photo Credit :

Besides film studio and many filming spots, Jeonju also has a Film Commitee and held yearly film festival named Jeonju Film Festival. Not only Jeonju, there are 10 regional film commission thoughout South Korea provinces that providing film-friendly environment for film productions, they are SFC (Seoul Film Commission), BFC (Busan Film Commission), GPFC (Gyeonggi Performing & film Commission), IFC (Incheon Film Commission), CFC (Cheongpung Film Commission), DFC (Daejeon Film Commission), JNFC (Jeon-Nam Film Commission), GNFC ( Gyeong-Nam Film Commission) and JEJUFC (Jeju Film Commission). Film Commissions assist productions in obtaining film permits, serve as a liaison between production companies and shooting locations, arrange traffic control and human resources. Not only that, they also provide equipments, studios and post production facilites as well.

Busan International Film Festival. Photo Credit :

Busan International Film Festival. Photo Credit :

To give an apreciation of Korean film industry there are held some international film festivals in some regions in Korea. Some of them are Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival which is held on July, focusing in horror, thriller and science fiction movies. Busan International Film festival, held in October every year and is one of the largest film festivals in Korea and Jeonju International film Festival which is held every April.
Korean movies are already spread to worldwide, not only in Korea itself, some of countries held Korean Film Festival to promote Korean films to people abroad.

Jeonju International  Film Festival. Photo Credit :

 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival  Photo Credit :
Park Hae Il at Korean Film Festival 2013 in Jakarta

Korean Filming Incentives.
KOFIC has provided a location incentive simce year 2011, which supports part of expenses of foreign feature film and television drama series shot in Korea. It offers up to 30% cash grant on foreign audio-visual works production expenditure incurred for goods and services in Korea with a cap of 2 billion KRW. Further detailed information can be accessed on this website :

Writter : Maria Margareta

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