President Moon Jae-in quickly congratulated President-elect Joe Biden last week following his projected victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 General Election. In his November
South Korea Experiences a Film Renaissance and Invests in its Future
For the past 20 years, Korea has been going through a sort of film “renaissance” after experiencing a golden age in the 1960s and 70s. More recently, Korean films have been having such a global impact that there are now films and TV episodes made outside the country that are influenced by these films, even to the point of emulating conventions of how those movies are made.
Several explanations have been given as to where this trend began, but the consensus in film circles is that the new generation of Korean filmmakers have more recently come to understand the appeal of the blockbuster movie, especially in thriller and horror flicks.
As one film historian recently noted, “Many Korean blockbusters try to grab as wide a target audience as possible, often making films that would be interesting to both younger and older generations, which makes them very popular throughout SK and raising awareness on the international level. At the same time, while the films are made using a ‘Hollywood formula,’ they maintain their Korean origins, which makes them feel fresh to people outside of SK and drawing in more attention worldwide.”
That may help explain why a recent announcement by two of Korea’s economic ministries of plans to advance the Korean film industry was so widely applauded. The Ministry of Economy and Finance, along with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s plan includes funding for small and mid-sized production companies, the extension of tax credits, the creation of a film promotion organization and regulations that restrict how screens can be monopolized by a single film.
The Korean Film Council (KOFIC), which has been spearheading the initiative, was originally looking at creating a pan-Asian film promotion hub, however, difficulties with reaching agreements among Asian nations have driven KOFIC and government leaders to go it alone rather than waiting for more favorable geopolitical conditions
In order to address the monopoly issue – which happens when one well-financed movie gets exclusive rights to a large number of movie screens at the expense of lesser-financed productions – the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced its efforts to seek a revision of the “Promotion of the Motion Pictures and Video Products Act” that would limit the number of screens a single film can monopolize on release in order to encourage diversity.