'Spring Waltz' sold to nine countries

Renowned producer Yoon Seok-ho's ambitious new TV series "Spring Waltz" is adding new momentum to the Korean Wave sweeping Asia and beyond with nine countries signing contracts for broadcast rights even before the drama has been shown in Korea.

"So far, we have signed contracts with Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Macao, Brunei and the Philippines, and are discussing contract terms with other countries including the United States, Austria, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar", said Park In taek, head of Yoons Color, the production company of "Spring Waltz".

The drama maker has already earned over 5 billion won, which covers the production costs of the drama, Park added. The profits from exports are shared between Yoons Color and the drama's broadcaster KBS.

Because Yoons Color holds the drama's sole copyright, countries that have bought the broadcast rights have to make extra payments in case of remakes.

Last year, China purchased the remake copyright of director Jeon Ki-sang's "Sassy Girl, Chun-hyang" in order to produce a Chinese version of the drama.

As the final part of producer Yoon's "season tetralogy" following "Autumn in my Heart" (2000), "Winter Sonata" (2002) and "Summer Scent" (2003), "Spring Waltz" has been receiving attention throughout Asia since last year.

After creating "Winter Sonata" that presented actor Bae Yong-joon and actress Choi Ji-woo with the delightful Japanese nicknames of Yonsama and Jiwoohime, respectively, Yoon has been gaining fame at home and abroad for his excellent drama making.

Actor Seo Do-young and actress Han Hyo-joo, who will be playing the main roles in Yoon's latest drama, are only newcomers to the entertainment world, but are expected to gain fame after the drama is aired. The upcoming romance also features Daniel Henney, a breakout star of "My Lovely Samsoon" ("My Name is Kim Sam-soon"), a popular MBC drama broadcast last year.

"Spring Waltz" will depict a tragic but beautiful love between young sweethearts who meet again after losing touch for 15 years. The 20 episode drama will be aired in Korea beginning March 6.

By Shin Hae in