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This Year's Cinematic Outlook Updated: 2007-01-08 12:00:00 KST

This Year's Cinematic Outlook
Records were broken in the Korean film industry last year including one for the largest number of movies produced.
It doesn't look like that record will be challenged this year, but there are nonetheless big expectations for the domestic film industry.
Son Heekyung has this preview for 2007.

2007 is just a little more than a week old, but curiosity is building over how the Korean film industry will shape up.
The rising interest in domestic films comes on the heels of two huge blockbusters last year.
Anticipation among filmgoers is also growing over what new movie trends will be seen this year.

SON HEEKYUNG, REPORTER: "If 2006 was a popular year for remakes of cartoons and novels, this year is expected to bring a new trend to the silver screen. Movie critics forecast that 2007 will usher in a wave of Korean films based on true stories, ranging from a drama about a down and out cabbie to an inspirational account of Korea's national handball team."

Simply put, movies based on real-life stories could emerge as the newest trend in film this year.
A number of domestic true-life stories, ranging from melodramas to thrillers, await release at movie theaters across Korea.
So why the sudden interest in movies based on true stories "I think that there is a feeling among producers that audiences are in the mood for this kind of story these days. Partly because the economy is not so strong, people are perhaps connecting better with films that are closer to their real lives."

One of the year's most awaited films is "Voice of a Murderer."
The movie is based on a real high-profile kidnapping from the early 1990s, and is set for release in February.

RECORDED: "I cried so much in this film. As a mother myself, I know how it feels to lose a child. I play the mother of a son taken hostage and the kidnapper harasses me and my husband, a famous news anchor, for 44 days over the phone."

Director Park Jinpyo himself had a personal role in the kidnapping depicted in "Voice of a Murderer,” as he filed a report on the abduction.
Films based on true-life stories are not new in Korean cinema.
2003 saw the release of the blockbuster "Silmido."
The film is about 31 death row inmates in 1968 who are recruited to assassinate then North Korean leader Kim Ilsung in return for their freedom.
Another hit from 2003 was "Memories of Murder" based on serial murders in the 1980s in a provincial city south of Seoul.
Movie critics say 2007 will likely not produce as many domestic hits as last year.
The number of Korean films hitting screens this year is also expected to drop from more than 100 last year to around 80.
Fewer blockbusters could mean that only a select group of Korean films will get a chance in the spotlight.

Son Heekyung, Arirang News.
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