From left, Screen International Deputy Asia Editor Jean Noh, Taiwanese director Chu Yen-ping, Taiwanese producer Yeh Jufeng, Taiwanese actress-turned-producer Lieh Lee, Korean Film Council official Daniel Park, bom Film Productions producer Ellen Kim and Dyne Film producer Jonathan H. Kim attend a forum on "Korea-Taiwan Cinema Exchange: Its Present and Future" held at Koryo Hotel in the city of Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on July 19, 2010, during the ongoing Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. [PiFan]
"I think we are taking elementary steps, that we are in the process of getting to know each other", said producer Ellen Kim on her views on exchange between the Korean and Taiwanese film industry.
Kim of bom Film Productions, who produced 2008 Berlin International Film Festival nomination "Night and Day" directed by critically acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo, made the remark during a forum titled "Korea-Taiwan Cinema Exchange: Its Present and Future" held during the industry specialized program Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) of the ongoing Puchun International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan).
Her comments came as she explained the limited recognition Korea has of films made in Taiwan, citing statistics by the official Korean Film Council which state the number and market share of all Chinese-language movies released in Korea under the single category of 'China' rather than by each country -- namely China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"The difference between films made in each of the three countries is not being pointed out for the Korean audience and the audience too have not formed an identity regarding Taiwanese films -- they just consider everything made in China", Kim explained, adding that Koreans recognize smash-hit Asian co-production "Red Cliff" as not a Taiwanese but Chinese project.
Actress-turned-producer Lieh Lee gave a more hands-on account, explaining the difficulty she encountered in creating Taiwan's second-largest grossing movie "Monga", about five boys who join a gang in the 1980s, after the end of Taiwan's military dictatorship, because they are tired of being pushed around.
"It was so hard to find Korean martial arts director Yang Gil-yeong... We had no idea how to get in touch with him so we even searched the Internet", Lee said of her experience in trying to locate the man behind the action scenes for Park Chan-wook's "Old Boy". "We finally found out through a friend of ours in Japan".
However, she recalled on the collaboration as being a positive one, saying they were able to understand each other later on even though they spoke their own languages without a translator. "We share similar histories and emotions... And in the end, we're all Asians".
This year's NAFF, held for five days starting July 18 during the 14th PiFan, spotlights Taiwan cinema.
Jessica Kim jesskim@
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