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Korean Film Festival Held in New Zealand

2004/10/27 | 187 views | Permalink | Source

By Joon Soh
Staff Reporter

The inaugural edition of a film festival of South Korean films is being held in Auckland, New Zealand through Oct. 31.

The Korean Film Festival opened on Oct. 22 and features 12 Korean feature films, including "Tae Guk Ki", "Yopkijogin Kunyo (My Sassy Girl)" and "Untold Scandal", playing at Auckland's Sky City Theatre.

At the opening of the festival, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark noted that "the Korean film industry has been making waves in recent years" and expressed the strong hope that collaboration between the Korean and New Zealand film industries would continue to increase. She also said that the festival would help to deepen New Zealanders' understanding of modern Korea.

Members of the Korean film industry present at the festival were Chang Mi-hee, actress and vice president of the Korea Film Council; directors Kang Je-gyu and kwak Jae-Yong; actress Park Sol-mi; and Yu Gi-na, film critic and chief director of the organization Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images.

"New Zealand has taken the initiative to host a Korean film festival this week", New Zealand Ambassador David Taylor said in a news release. "The festival will feature some of the best recent Korean films. It should highlight the strength and diversity of Korean film-making".

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of collaborations and co-operation between filmmakers of the two countries, according to the festival's organizers. The South Korean films "Old Boy" and "Silmido" were partly filmed in New Zealand. "Namguk Ilgi (Antarctic Journal)", due for release next year, was largely filmed in New Zealand and involves technical cooperation with New Zealand film companies.

Other cooperative projects are in the pipeline. In addition, following the Prime Minister's visit to Korea last year, both countries have been negotiating a film co-production treaty.

The Korean Cinerama Trust, which organised the Festival with help from KOFIC, New Zealand's Asia 2000 Foundation and a number of private backers, plans to run a Korean Film Festival in New Zealand every two years. There are also plans to stage a New Zealand Film Festival in Korea in 2005.

Film Festival website (Korean and English): Open the link

Asia 2000 Foundation: Open the link

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