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Critics Say Korean Films Need Stronger Marketing Updated: 2007-03-04 12:00:00 KST

Critics Say Korean Films Need Stronger Marketing
Korean movies have enjoyed growing recognition by international film festivals receiving a few major honors in recent years.
But the US Academy Awards have largely ignored Korean cinema something which Korean film critics say must change through stronger marketing.
Son Heekyung has more.
More than two decades have passed since Korea began selecting ONE domestic film a year for an Academy Award nomination.
But chances seem slim of a Korean movie getting an Oscar nod.
Korean cinema has gained higher stature at international film events like Cannes, Berlin and Venice, but has had little luck with the Academy Awards.
The closest Korea got was in 2005 when director Park Sejong became the first Korean nominated for an Oscar for his animated film ''Birthday Boy.''
So why is getting the award so elusive for Korea?

RECORDED: ''Academy Awards are judged by members of the academy, most of whom are in their 60s.
Films that have won Best Foreign Language Film over the past ten years have mostly dealt with human drama, such as family, women, children and history.''

The Korean Film Council says Korean films need a solid distributor in the US to raise their Oscar hopes.
But that's not all.

SON HEEKYUNG, REPORTER: ''For Korean movies to receive wider recognition abroad including in Hollywood, movie critics say they need to build strong representative brand images and individuals.
Certain movie critics say, producing films on Korea's traditional lifestyle and culture is the key to attracting more foreign interest.''

One of Korea's weak points in its Oscar promotion is marketing strategy.

RECORDED: ''Compared to China, Hong Kong and Japan, Korea is not actively involved in marketing strategy.
What it comes down to is how well you promote the country's films.''

Korea selected for an Oscar nomination this year ''King and the Clown'', the country's second-highest grossing movie of all time.
But the highly acclaimed film could compete in just one Academy Award category, Best Foreign Film, making the competition tougher.

RECORDED: ''I don't make films to win awards but to let foreigners get closer to Korea and its culture.''

As director Im says, winning isn't everything.
But critics say stronger marketing and promotion of Korean movies can only raise the films' chances of Oscar recognition.

Son Heekyung, Arirang News.
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