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Korean Kid Film 'Ice Bar' Invited to Berlin Film Fest

Source | 2007/01/03 | | Permalink

By Chung Ah-young
Staff Reporter

The Korean film "Ice Bar" directed by Yeo In-kwang has been invited to the 57th Berlin International Film Festival which will be held from Feb. 8-18 in Germany, according to MK Pictures, the local film production company.

Yeo's directorial debut film will be shown in the Generation section of the festival, dedicated to children's films. The section's competitions are known as Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus.

The section has been newly created this year by combining the "Kinderfilmfest", or the German Child Support Organization operating since 1978, and the Generation 14plus inaugurated in 2004.

The film will compete in Generation Kplus Competition, whose winners are selected by an 11-member children's jury.

Yeo's film revolves around...More

Korean film industry has lost some sparkle

Source | 2006/12/29 | | Permalink

The Korean film industry seemed to be in full bloom in 2006 with hits such as "The Host" and "The Royal Jester (formerly "The King and the Clown")" attracting more than 10 million customers at the box office.

A total of 108 domestic films, including this week's "My Wife is a Gangster 3", have opened in theaters nationwide. The number has skyrocketed since 2005's 83 films and is the biggest number of films made since 1990. And in 2007 over 60 percent of the films shown here were Korean made.
Even with these record-breaking numbers, the reality in Chungmuro (the area where Korean film production companies have been concentrated, to such an extent that the word is now synonymous with the phrase "Korean film industry") is very different. Although there have been more movies, they have made less profit than in previous years. In short ― the industry is not making enough money.

Return on Investment is minus 30 percent
Based on theater profits alone, the return on investment this year is estimated to be minus 30 percent. This figure was produced by CJ Entertainment on the basis of 85 films (which includes all the big releases and only excludes a few low budget movies) that were made by the major production companies.

This is the worst figure for the Korean film industry since 2002, when it suffered a string of movies that failed at the box office. Since then, the industry has been dragging itself along with foreign imports and has been only marginally profitable.
Production costs this year were close to 5.3 billion won ($5.7 million) per movie, which means that to break even a film must be seen by at least 1.8 million paying customers, according to data released by the Korean Film Council. The council says that only 15 of this year's movies attracted a large enough audience to make a profit. Roughly speaking, this means that only one out of five movies reached break-even point.
This year also saw fewer big hits. Although two movies had audiences of over 10 million, the number of movies attracting 3 million people or more was less than last year. Additionally, the number of movies which did not meet the 300,000 mark has increased. So although two hits were record-breakers the rest did not do so well.

Anxiety concerning over-investment becomes a reality
Although the data produced by CJ Entertainment did not include exports or additional royalties f...More

Good Sequels

Source | 2006/11/09 | | Permalink

Most popular movies this year are expected to generate sequels. It is evidence that Korean films also have "brand" power. It is a phenomenon caused by sequels that were more popular than the sequels. The key to success is to continue with the sequel but differentiate it by adding new material.

Turning the Success of a Sequel into a Brand-

Sixty-five million viewers crowded to the theaters for "The War Of Flower", where at the end of the movie Goni (Jo Seung-woo) picks up the phone at a foreign casino phone booth, giving rise to speculations of a sequel. Yoon Sang-o of Sidus FNH said, "It was originally a scene where Hwa-ran (Lee Soo-kyeong) picks up the phone when Goni calls, but it was cut during the editing process, and it does not indicate a sequel", but added, "We have not reached the final decision, but we may produce a sequel with the topic of poker", announcing his intention to turn "...More

"Little Brother" Tops Children's Film Fest in Germany

Source | 2006/10/10 | | Permalink

The Korean film "Little Brother" ("Hello Brother") directed by Lim Tae-hyeong has won the top prize at an international children's film festival held in Germany. The film's producer, MK Pictures, said Monday that "Little Brother" shared the Lucas Award with the German film "Paula's Secret" at the Lucas International Children's Film Festival which ran from Sept. 24 until Oct. 1.

Among 13 feature and eight short films in the competition category, Lim's work was recognized for maintaining its humor and not becoming sentimental despite its serious topic. A...More

Production companies to form new hub outside of Seoul

Source | 2006/08/25 | | Permalink

A group of Korean film companies has committed to move to the city of Paju, outside of Seoul. A total of 18 production companies will move to a 170-acre stretch of land being developed in Paju, located 20 miles northwest of Seoul. The city, located close to the North Korean border, has been branded "Book City" thanks to a similar zone that has attracted many book publishers. The new development is expected to be completed by 2008.

Companies making the move include top production houses Sidus FNH, MK Pictures, iFilm Corp., LJ Film, Kim Ki-duk Film, Moho Films (headed by "Old Boy" director ...More
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