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Low Budget Film 'Old Partner' Proves You Don't Need Superstars

2009/02/02 | 146 views |  | Permalink | Source

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The film "Once" set the record in Korea for attracting the most number of viewers for an independent film with 220,000 since its release in September 2007. Profits were 10 times the import price, and the soundtrack sold over 60,000 copies. "Once" stands as a lesson to filmmakers in Korea who are obsessed with casting top stars that it is quality content that makes a film successful.

Now "Old Partner", a documentary about the 30-year friendship between a farming couple in their 80s and a cow, seems to be proving the lesson. Despite a small start in just seven cinemas on Jan. 15, word of mouth spread among film lovers, and it is now showing in 21 movie theaters. During the lunar New Year holidays, the film attracted 26,000 viewers. With accumulated audiences now surpassing 40,000, "Old Partner" is in 10th place at the box office this week alongside blockbusters "Red Cliff 2" and "Valkyrie". Its silent popularity increased the number of cinemas showing it to 34 last Thursday.

Favorable reviews among moviegoers are the main contributor to the unexpected popularity. But there has also been official recognition. After winning the Pusan International Film Festival Mecenat Award for best documentary last year, the film went to become the first Korean documentary to make it to the official competition at the 25th Sundance Film Festival, which ran from Jan. 15 to 25.

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