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Korean Movies Go Global Updated: 2011-10-27 00:00:00 KST

On October 21st, a meaningful gathering among members of the Korean movie industry took place.

[Interview : ] "I hereby declare the launch of the Council for Development of Korean Movies, which will create ideal conditions needed to develop Korean cinema."

High-ranking officials from the government and the industry gathered to launch a council to further promote Korean movies around the world.

[Interview : Kim Eui-suk, Chairman
Korean Film Council] "Thanks to the Council for Development of Korean Movies, everyone can benefit and Korean movies can advance even further on the global stage."
The launch of the Council for Development of Korean Movies was all the more special as October 27th is Movie Day in Korea.

Movie Day coincides with commemorations for Korea's first movie, "Fight For Justice," which opened on the same date in 1919. For movie lovers, October 27th is a day for celebration.

[Interview : Ahn Sung-ki, Actor] "Movie Day sounds like an exciting holiday, probably because the Korean film industry has come such a long way."

The 1993 movie "Seopyonjae" [서편제] wrote a new page in Korean movie history.

"Seopyonjae" brought in more than 1 million viewers during a time when film noir from Hong Kong and Hollywood blockbusters dominated cinemas all over the world. It also showed the potential of Korean cinema.

In 1998, Korea's own blockbuster "Shiri" scored a major coup, attracting over 5 million viewers to theaters and breaking records set by the then-global blockbuster "Titanic."

Even though "Shiri" was a commercial film, it did an excellent job in reflecting the divided nature of the Korean Peninsula.

Since then, Korean movies have branched out into a variety of genres and storylines,

and improved on those genres and stories.

With investment by conglomerates, the industry began to evolve and Korean movies went through a renaissance, eventually reaching the high-quality they are known for today.

Over the past decade, investment into Korean cinema increased more than twofold.

The number of movies made per year is also increasing. Last year, 152 movies were made, an almost three-fold increase from 10 years ago.

However, it wasn't always smooth sailing for the movie industry. The screen quota proved to be a major issue.

[Interview : ] "On this day of July 1, 2006, the Korean movie industry was brought to its brink."

Those who wished to preserve the screen quota were denounced as ultranationalists and selfish, and eventually, the issue was smoothed over.

Even so, the breakneck pace of development granted Korean cinema numerous spotlights around the world.

Korean movies, actors and directors began to make headlines around the world.

[Interview : Im Kwon-taek, Movie director] "I will acknowledge this award as a way to encourage me to work harder. This award feels like it has been given to the entirety of Asia."

Director Im Kwon-taek became a global figure for his portrayal of the beauty of the Korean Peninsula and his eloquence in expressing the Korean spirit.

The Busan Intl. Film Festival, now into its 16th year, is another pillar of Korean cinema.

[Interview : ] "Busan is the place to be for film festivals!"

[Interview : ] "Looks like fun."

[Interview : ] "Come to Busan!"

The economic effect of the festival is equivalent to that of exporting 5,000 cars! It is now becoming the stage for not only Korean movies, but also movies from other countries.

[Interview : Ferran Audi, Movie director
Spain] "What is more important for me is this idea that we are a bunch of people whom the festival has elected to represent new filmmaking --- in the world."

[Interview : Hakon Liu, Movie director
Sweden] "For a Swedish film to have a world premiere in Busan Intl. Film Festival was very exciting. Everyone got very happy, especially in the Fast Forward category."

Korea is one of the few nations like India and the United States to have a movie market in which more than 50% of the share is taken by homegrown movies.

Nowadays, Korean movies are making inroads into foreign movie markets thanks to advanced production, directing and marketing skills.

With foreign movie markets as a springboard, Korean movies are now reaching towards higher goals.

[Interview : Kim Dong-ho, Honorary director
Busan Intl. Film Festival ] "I feel that I should contribute to making Korean movies more appealing to the world."

[Interview : Kim Eui-suk, Chairman
Korean Film Council] "I hope that Korea can become the Hollywood of Asia, and that Korean movies can be promoted to all the world."


Da-eun what was the first Korean movie you saw that had a great impact on you It was.
I was blown away by City of the Rising Sun or which was already over 10 years ago.
Well Happy Movie Day everyone. Why not make it a movie night tonight
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