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Darcy Paquet

  • Foreign sales begin to dominate thinking for Korean producers


    A seriesof hits have helped home-grown titles to a 58% share of the South Korea this year but Screendaily's latest production listings shows the growing importance of the international market.Squeezedprofits are forcing producers to rely on foreign sales in a way that is beginning to have a clear effect.
  • Top Korean exhibitors to digitise cinema chains


    Two of South Korea's top exhibition companies, Megabox Cineplex and CGV, have announced the completedigitalisation of their entire chain of cinemas. Market leader CGV, owned and operated by local distributor CJ Entertainment,has unveiled plans to install digital projectors for all 266 screens of its32-venue network by early January 2006. The screens will be connected toa central server located in Bundang, a suburb ...
  • Grain, Unforgiven take top awards at Pusan


    Chinese-Korean co-productionGrain In Ear and Korean independent film The Unforgiven dominatedthe awards at the tenth edition of the Pusan International Film Festival (Oct6-14).
  • Korean star power on parade at glitzy Pusan opening


    The 10th edition of Asia's leading film showcase and industry event, the Pusan InternationalFilm Festival (PIFF), kicked off on Thursday with a glitzy opening thathighlighted South Korea's emergence as the new star factory of Asia.
  • Dongmakgol chosen as South Korea's Oscar entry


    South Korea has selected blockbuster hit Welcome ToDongmakgol as its submission to the best foreign-language film category ofthe 78th Academy Awards.
  • iHQ launches new Korean sales agency


    iHQ, an up-and-coming Korean companythat has diversified from talent management to film production and investment,has launched a new international sales division under Catherine Park, formerlyof CJ Entertainment.The company will make its market debut at Pusan, withan initial slate including Daisy, an action romance shot in theNetherlands featuring top star Jeon Ji-hyun (My Sassy Girl) and directedby Hong Kong filmmaker ...
  • Pusan unveils tenth anniversary festival line-up


    The Pusan International Film Festivalwill present a record 307 films to celebrate its tenth edition, which runs fromOctober 6-14 in South Korea.
  • Northern relations boost southern box office in Korea


    Therunaway box office success of Welcome To Dongmakgolhas driven home a point about the South Korean box office: films about NorthKorea sell.
  • Cineclick announces global sales deal with Korea Pictures


    South Korean sales companyCineclick Asia has announced a strategic alliance with distributor/financierKorea Pictures, with Cineclick to represent all but two of the latter's titles.Korea Pictures had formerlyoperated a small sales division that was a regular presence at internationalmarkets but the departure of CEO Soma Chung earlier this ...
  • Pusan project market shortlists 27 Asian features


    Asia's highest-profile project market, the PusanPromotion Plan (PPP), has unveiled a record 27 projects that will be introducedto potential co-producers and financiers at the upcoming Pusan InternationalFilm Festival.
  • Lady Vengeance smashes Korean box office records


    Park Chan-wook'sVenice-bound Sympathy For Lady Vengeance has notched the highestgrossing opening weekend in South Korean history, narrowly beating out lastyear's record-breaking Tae Guk Gi.
  • Puchon festival wraps under shadow of industry boycott


    Following months of controversy and a tense weekduring which a rival festival unspooled in Seoul, the Puchon InternationalFantastic Film Festival (PiFan) drew the curtain on its ninth edition with asubdued closing ceremony that was almost devoid of local stars or industryfigures.
  • Cinema Service founder Kang steps down as CEO


    South Korean distributorCinema Service has announced thatVice President Kim In-soo will take over as thecompany'snew CEO/President.
  • Empress Chung set for historic Korean release


    Empress Chung, an animated feature based on a Korean folk tale, isset to become the first ever film to receive a simultaneous release in Northand South Korea.The $6m North-South Korean co-production will bere-dubbed into Pyongyang dialect by famous local actors and released into sixtheaters in North Korea on August 15.The South Korean release is scheduled for August 12. ...
  • Asian film commissions move to draw more US shoots


    The Asian Film CommissionsNetwork (AFCNet) is gearing up for a push to draw more Hollywood productions tothe region.
  • Korea braced for Puchon punch up


    South Korea's festival sceneis set to witness a major confrontation in mid-July, when the 9th PuchonInternational Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) faces off against a smaller rivalevent staged by PiFan's former organisers.On Tuesday the so-calledReal Fantastic Film Festival, to take place in Seoul over the same period asPiFan (July 14-23), ...
  • Oldboy director joins CJ's digital slate


    Korean major CJ Entertainment is teaming withmerchandising and licensing company Barunson to finance eight upcoming projectsby star directors, including Oldboy's Park Chan-wook.
  • Pusan festival unveils expansion plans


    The Pusan InternationalFilm Festival has unveiled a range of special events for its tenth anniversaryedition to be held in October, including an inaugural Asian Film Academy (AFA)modeled after the Berlinale Talent Campus and Sundance's Filmmakers Lab.Festival director KimDong-ho also says that PIFF will double its number of participating ...
  • Korean producers ready string of big budget hopefuls


    Korean audienceshave always had a complicated relationship with big-budget local movies.
  • Korean film giants merge international sales divisions


    CJEntertainment and Cinema Service, two of Korea's leading film companies, havestepped up their recent partnership with a merger of their international salesdivisions.
  • Hadida acquires remake rights to Korean horror hit


    French producer Samuel Hadida (Brotherhood Of TheWolf) has picked upEnglish-language remake rights to Korean horror film Bunshinsaba (2004) by Ahn Byeong-gi. The film, about an ostracised high school student whoinadvertently places a curse on her classmates, will be produced through DavisFilms under the English title The Spell.
  • Korean Film Council names new chairperson


    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has named AhnJeeng-sook, a former editor of weekly film magazine Cine21, to a threeyear term as Chairperson to replace the outgoing Lee Choong-jik. Ahn will join eight other commissioners newlyappointed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to oversee the operation of thefilm support body and to draft and implement film policy.
  • Korean industry abuzz as top production houses set to merge


    Sidus Pictures and Fun &Happiness, two of South Korea's most successful production companies, arepreparing to merge in an unexpected move that has set the local industrybuzzing.
  • Positive response for Korea's Antarctic Journal at Jeonju


    Antarctic Journal, a large-scale Korean mystery thriller set in theAntarctic Circle, provided a high profile close to the sixth JeonjuInternational Film Festival on May 6. The film receives its market premiere viaMirovision in the upcoming Cannes market.
  • Hewitt's Love grips South Korea


    UK film The Truth About Love, starring Jennifer LoveHewitt, has scored a number one opening in South Korea in its worldwide debut.
  • Chinese Peacock struts off with Udine prize


    Chinese director Gu Changwei's Peacock was voted the top prizewinner by audiencesat the 7th Far East Film Festival (FEFF) in Udine, Italy.The FEFF, which ranks as a leading European showcaseof popular Asian cinema, also presented runner-up prizes to the stylish teenagedrama Kamikaze Girls byJapanese director Tetsuya Nakashima and comedy Someone Special by ...
  • Ousted Puchon director launches rival festival


  • Infernal Affairs' Lau to direct major pan-Asian feature


    South Koreanproduction company iFilm, which scored a hit with the Korean-HK co-production Windstrucklast year, has unveiled a major new pan-Asian feature that brings together HongKong director Andrew Lau of Infernal Affairs and Jeon Ji-hyun, the lead actressfrom Windstruck and My Sassy Girl.
  • Monster movie scores $4.7m pre-sale to Japan


    The Host, a big-budget monster movie to be shot by one ofKorea's most respected directors, clinched a massive $4.7m pre-sale to Japan'sHappinet .Pictures at the recent Hong Kong FilMart.
  • April Snow set to engulf Asia


    South Korean distributor Show East is enjoying anunprecedented media blitz from across Asia for its upcoming title April Snow- which is being marketed as Korea's first Asia-wide blockbuster ahead of itsSeptember release.
  • Spring offers hope for Korean box office


    April is not considered tobe high season at the box-office in Korea, but in past years it has shown aknack for producing major box-office hits.
  • Korean film industry mourns Lee Eun-ju


    South Korean actress LeeEun-ju was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday morning. She is believed to have committed suicide.
  • Top Korean distributor drops assassination drama


    A South Korean political drama that is dividing audienceson the same scale as Fahrenheit 9/11 has been dropped just ahead of itsFebruary 3 release by distributor CJ Entertainment.
  • Puchon Film Festival loses second artistic director


    South Korea's second majorfilm festival, the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) plungedinto chaos on Tuesday, as its organising committee decided to hold its ninthedition without a festival director.
  • Korea's Kim Ki-duk shoots The Bow


    South Korean director KimKi-duk has opened shooting on his 12th feature film, a low-budget production tobe titled The Bow.
  • Korean film enjoys bumper box office harvest in 2004


    South Korean box office surged 16.5% in 2004 and Koreanfilms took an unprecedented 60.3% share of the market, on the back ofrecord-busting performances by local features Tae Guk Gi and Silmido.
  • Don Kim named as Universal Pictures Korea chief


    UniversalPictures International (UPI) has appointed Don Kim, formerly of Johnson &Johnson Visioncare, to be managing director of Universal Pictures Korea.
  • Controversy sparked by exit of Puchon Film Festival director


    Kim Hong-joon, the popular director of Korea'sPuchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), has been removed from hisposition due to lobbying by the city's mayor.
  • 2004: All eyes on South Korean cinema


    In 2004, Korean cinema saw two films, Silmido and Taegukgi, pass the hitherounscaled 10 million admissions mark.
  • CAA signs South Korean director


    SouthKorean director Kang Je-gyu has signed on with Creative Artists Agency (CAA),making him one of the first Korean filmmakers to work through one of the majorHollywood talent agencies.Accordingto production/sales company MKB, Kang is also fielding multiple offers frommajor Hollywood studios regarding his as-yet unannounced next project.Kanghas become a box-office legend in his home country for the action film Shiri(1999) - a record-breaking hit credited with jump-starting ...
  • Top Korean director in talks to sign with CAA


    South Korean director Kang Je-gyu is inthe final stage of negotiations to sign on with Creative Artists Agency (CAA),which would make him the first Korean filmmaker to work through one of themajor Hollywood talent agencies.According to production/sales company MKB, Kang isalso fielding multiple offers from major Hollywood studios regarding his as-yetunannounced ...
  • Korean Brother raises $1.8m from online investors


    Within a space of 25 hours, South Korean production houseMKB has raised the entire budget of its upcoming $1.8m project Hello AndGoodbye, Little Brother from online investors.
  • Korean talent looks to international break-out


    2005 may end up being a breakout year forseveral Korean directors who are well-known at home, but yet to fully establishthemselves abroad. Festivals in anadventurous mood, not to mention foreign distributors, should have much tochoose from in the coming year.
  • Charming Girl wins top Pusan prize


    Korean feature This Charming Girl took home the top prize in the PusanInternational Film Festival's New Currents section for first and second-timeAsian directors.The film by LeeYun-ki is a restrained portrait of a socially isolated woman who works in asmall post office. Probably the most well-received among a small handful ofKorean premieres, the LJ Film production has reportedly elicited interest fromseveral ...
  • Korea's film investors assess future options


    South Korea's film financing sector faces grave challenges,yet paradoxically may rank as the world's most vibrant, according to opinionsexpressed at a panel discussion at the Pusan International Film Festival.
  • Pan-Asian network to promote location shooting


    The Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet), a linking oforganisations in Asia that provide shooting support services, received itsofficial launch on Sunday at the Pusan International Film Festival.
  • Phillippe linked to Korea-set thriller Expats


    American actor Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) is in active discussions to take the lead role in the first ever NorthAmerican production to shoot entirely in Korea.
  • PPP shares top prizes between Butter and Help


    Projects byKorean-American director Grace Lee and Taiwanese actor/director Lee Kang-shengwill share the top award bestowed by the 7th Pusan Promotion Plan(PPP).
  • Pusan kicks off with massive outdoor 2046 screening


    The 9thPusan International Film Festival kicked off on Thursday night with the firstfestival screening of Wong Kar-wai's re-edited version of 2046.The film, which receives its commercial release in Koreaon October 15, was shown on a massive outdoor screen with Wong and lead actorTony Leung in attendance. The 5000+available seats reportedly sold out only four minutes after going on ...
  • Korea's 'star directors' aim to shoot to thrill


    Korea's cinematic boom, that started in the late 1990s, hascreated a diverse group of star directors who, thanks to their reputation atthe box-office and at international festivals, now wield an enviable degree ofcreative control compared to their younger colleagues. The latter half of this year will see alarge number of these filmmakers start shooting new projects, promising anexciting line-up for the first half of 2005.
  • Korea resolves foreign Oscar controversy


    Afterprotracted deliberation which has caused considerable controversy at home,South Korea has chosen Kang Je-gyu's Korean War film Tae Guk Gi torepresent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition.A special5-person jury appointed by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) decided on Sept 22to conditionally recommend ...
  • Re-edited 2046 to open Pusan Festival


    The new re-edited version of Wong Kar-wai'slong-gestating 2046 has been selected as the opening film of the 9thPusan International Film Festival.
  • Pusan project market shortlists 23 Asian features


    New projects byThai director Nonzee Nimibutr (Jan Dara), Taiwanese actor-turned-director Lee Kang-Sheng (TheMissing) and Korean BongJoon-ho (Memories Of Murder) are among the 23 Asian features that will compete for financing atthe 2004 Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP).
  • Exhibition deal to boost arthouse films in South Korea


    Koreanfilm import company Sponge and venture capital firm KTB Network are teaming upin a new venture known as 'Cinehue' to give quality non-Hollywoodproduct an enhanced presence on South Korean screens.Thenew distribution line matches the experience of Sponge - which has purchasedKorean rights to over 50 foreign titles including Dogville, ...
  • Korean exhibitor to become producer and distributor


    Lotte Cinema, operator of one of Korea's largest exhibitionchains, has announced a new andambitious drive to become a major player in the fields of exhibition,distribution, and film finance.
  • Korean majors finalise separation


    After a well-publicised and contentious struggle, SouthKorean major Cinema Service has reached an agreement to secure its formalseparation from the rival CJ Group.
  • Korea's Kim Jee-woon unveils 'action noir' feature


    Rising Koreandirector Kim Jee-woon (A Tale Of TwoSisters) has lifted the veil on his highly anticipated fourth feature, an"action noir" that is set to start shooting in mid-August.
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien named Asian Filmmaker of the Year


    The PusanInternational Film Festival (PIFF) has announced that Taiwanese filmmaker HouHsiao-hsien (City Of Sadness, MillenniumMambo) will be presented with its Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award.
  • Top Korean directors launch production outfit


    Nineof Korea's top directors including Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) and BongJoon-ho (Memories Of Murder) have established a new film companyto finance the cost of developing future projects.
  • Arahan dominates at Puchon Fantastic festival


    Local hit Arahan proved to be the big winner at SouthKorea's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), taking home theBest of Puchon grand prize as well as the Audience Award.
  • Japan's Amuse Soft pays record sum for Secrets


    South Koreancomedy Everybody Has Secrets -- an official remake of GerardStembridge's Irish-UK co-production About Adam (2000) -- has clinchedKorea's biggest ever sale to Japan.
  • Horror summer for Korean cinema


    South Korea'scinematic output over the next few months will be concentrated less on festivalofferings and more on potential box-office hits.
  • Korea unveils international co-production fund


    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has unveiled its firstsupport fund targeted at international co-productions.
  • Film director Lee replaced as Korean culture minister


    Film director Lee Chang-dong (Oasis), who has served as South Korea's Minister ofCulture and Tourism since February 2003, was replaced on Wednesday in a cabinetreshuffle.
  • PiFan unveils 8th festival line-up


    Stuart Gordon's King Of The Ants and Ahn Byung-ki's Bunshinsaba have been selected tobookend the 8th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), whichruns from July 15-24 in South Korea.
  • South Korean film-makers stunned by quota reversal


    In a reversal of position that hasstunned the local film industry, South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourismhas announced that it will now support the reduction of the nation's embattledScreen Quota System. TheMinistry's acquiescence makes it almost certain that the Screen Quota will beweakened in the near to mid-future.
  • Spring, Summer surprise winner at Korean awards


    Kim Ki-duk's Spring,Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring was named the surprise winner of the 41st Grand Bell Awards, SouthKorea's oldest awards ceremony.This marks the second major local honour for the film after it won BestPicture at the rival Blue Dragon Awards held last December.
  • Cineclick ties up Kim Ki-duk financing


    South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's latest project 3-Iron has secured a co-financing dealfrom Japan's Happinet equal to 50% of the film's budget.
  • Monster sales for Film Transit's Metallica


  • Optimum takes Tube's Aachi for UK


    Optimum Releasing has picked up UK rights for Aachi & Ssipak, a BeavisAnd Butthead-style Korean animated feature about a futuristic world poweredby human feces. Represented by TubeEntertainment, the film has also been pre-sold to AB Films for Italy andProopitiki for Greece, and negotiations are underway with two major USstudios.In addition, Tube has sold MTV the rightsto produce a 16-part TV series based on the film, and several European telecomscompanies ...
  • Shochiku engineers Casshern sales


  • Korea pledges $33m for digital cinema push


    South Korea's government is gettingbehind the push towards digital cinema, pledging $33.2m to speed up the filmindustry's transition to digital.
  • Tokyo festival to launch market


    The Tokyo International FilmFestival has announced the launch of an ambitious two-tiered marketaimed at becoming a meeting place for the Asian contents industry.
  • Film-makers vie to remake Japanese Love


    Japanese romantic drama CryingOut Love -- The Centre Of The World has scored a monster opening for localmajor Toho, while also drawing remake interest from neighbouring South Korea.
  • Korean distributor unveils debut production slate


    South Korean distributor Chungeorahm Film makes its first trip toCannes this year with a wide slate of upcoming titles from its newly-launchedproduction and investment arm. These include a new film by Old Boy and Chihwaseonstar Choi Min-shik and a big-budget disaster movie by Bong Joon-ho, director ofthe award-winning Memories Of Murder.
  • Korean distributor unveils debut production slate


  • Cinema Service strikes Arahan deals


  • Japanese play with Ouija Board


  • South Korea damns Breillat's Hell


    Flach Pyramide's sexually graphic exploration of misogyny, Anatomy Of Hell by Catherine Breillat, has been denied an import certification by the Korea Media Ratings Board, which cited the film's "perverted sexual content."
  • Silence reigns at Jeonju


    South Korea'sJeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) wrapped up its fifth edition on May2, with awards going to Iranian director Babak Payami's Silence Between TwoThoughts and Cuban documentary Suite Havana.
  • Korea launches real time box office tracking service


    South Korea is to launch a new web-based box office tracking system, similar to recently developed industry tools: Nielsen EDI's FLASH and Rentrack's Box Office Essentials data collecting services.
  • CJ plays it both ways in South Korea


    South Korea's distribution sector looks set for a major realignment, with CJ Entertainment announcing plans to invest in both halves of soon-to-be-split rival Plenus Entertainment.
  • South Korea mulls substantial film tax breaks


    South Korea's Ministry of Finance And Economy has introduced plans to expand its system of tax breaks for small and medium-sized firms in the service sector to include the film industry.
  • Korean cinema surges on back of Taegukgi, Silmido


    Korean cinema recorded an 82.5% market share in February, setting a new monthly record on the back of a record-breaking performance by Korean War film Taegukgi.
  • Cinema Service opens shop in Japan


    South Korean major Cinema Service has announced plans to establish a branch office in Tokyo to directly distribute its films into Japan.
  • New distributor launches in South Korea


    Lotte Cinema, which operates one of South Korea's three major multiplex chains, has announced its long-speculated move into film distribution.
  • Asian film commissions join forces to attract shoots


    A group of leading film commissions from Asia have agreed to join together in a regional network to be called the Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet).
  • Korea looks to crowded spring release schedule


    For full listings click HERE
  • Korean war epic is multiple record-breaker


    Kang Je-gyu's Korean War epic Taegukgi is enjoying a record-breaking opening in its native country, becoming South Korea's first film ever to reach 2 million admissions ($11.3m) in five days.
  • Korean industry stunned as top production houses merge


    A major re-alignment is set to sweep the South Korean production sector, as leading production houses KangJegyu Films and Myung Films have been acquired by local manufacturing company Seshin Buffalo.
  • South Korean cinema scores record market share


    South Korean cinema recorded a 53% local market share in 2003 - the strongest on record - according to a report just released by the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC).
  • Spirit of Bruce Lee conquers Korean box office


    A 1970s-set film about high school violence has taken hold of the South Korean box-office, drawing 800,000 admissions ($4.5m) on 270 screens in its first three days.
  • Cinema Service splits from Plenus parent


    Cinema Service, one of the two major distributors that dominate the South Korean film market, has announced plans to separate from its parent company Plenus Entertainment.
  • Samaria set for Berlin competition


    Controversial director Kim Ki-duk's 10th film Samaria has been selected to screen in the competition section of the 54th Berlin International Film Festival, according to local press reports in South Korea.
  • South Korean blockbuster smashes local records


    South Korean blockbuster Silmido has set a new box-office record by passing four million admissions only 15 days after its December 24 release.
  • Korea's CJ Entertainment names new CEO


    A reshuffle at South Korean conglomerate Cheil Jedang will see Park Dong-ho become the new CEO of local major CJ Entertainment.
  • South Korean quota system wins temporary reprieve


    South Korea's filmmakers have secured a temporary respite in their efforts to maintain the nation's Screen Quota system.
  • South Korean censors kill Bill's roll out plans


    South Korea's Media Ratings Board has slapped an effective ban on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 1, causing uproar among the film community and throwing local distributor CJ Entertainment's plans for a November 21 release into doubt.
  • Kim Ki-duk starts Samaria shoot


    South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has started shooting on his 10th film, a low-budget revenge story titled Samaria.
  • South Korean production update


  • Pressure piles up on Korean quota system


    South Korea's embattled Screen Quota System is facing its gravest challenge to date after president Roh Moo-hyun and other members of the executive branch have spoken out in favour of weakening the system.
  • Sports marketeer bankrolls Korean car racing feature


    Sports marketing firm Hyundai Sports International (HSI) has signalled its entry into the Korean film industry with G.T., a feature about racecar driving that will be targeted heavily at the international market.
  • 9-hour Chinese documentary wins Japanese festival


  • Iran, Taiwan take top Pusan prizes


    South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival wrapped up its 8th edition on October 10, with prizes in the New Currents section for first and second-time Asian directors going to Taiwanese actor Lee Kang-sheng's directorial debut The Missing and Iranian director Alireza Amini's Tiny Snow Flakes.
  • Maturing Pusan experiences growing pains


    As South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) passes its midpoint, the overall impression is of an event that is rapidly maturing, but still experiencing a few growing pains.
  • Scandal erupts at South Korean box office


    South Korean feature Untold Scandal has become the first local film ever to draw one million viewers in its opening weekend. Released on October 2, the film has attracted 1.13 million admissions ($6m) nationwide in its first four days.
  • Green Planet dominates Pusan Critics Awards


    The Pusan Film Critics Association has unveiled the winners of the 4th Pusan Film Critics Awards, with the genre-bending Save The Green Planet by Jang Jun-hwan taking Best Picture, Best Actor (Shin Ha-kyun), and Best New Director.
  • South Korea fully opens up to Japanese film


    South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced the complete opening of the Korean market to Japanese live-action films, effective from January 1, 2004.
  • Korean pair crank up Cannes targeted films


    Two of Korea's leading directors - Im Kwon-taek and Hong Sang-soo - start production this week on new features aimed squarely at next year's Cannes festival.
  • Kurosawa's Doppelganger to open Pusan


    The Pusan International Film Festival has released the lineup for its 8th edition (October 2-10) featuring 244 films in all, with a strong focus on Asian cinema.
  • Pusan evolves into full Asian film market


    The Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), a rapidly-expanding project market held concurrent to the Pusan International Film Festival, has unveiled 28 official projects for its upcoming edition including works by Wong Kar Wai, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Murali Nair.
  • New film studio launches in South Korea


    Art Service, a division of South Korean major Plenus Entertainment, has unveiled Korea's latest and most technologically advanced studio complex in Paju, a city outside of Seoul located close to the North Korean border.
  • Pusan unveils New Currents jury


    Romanian filmmaker Lucian Pintilie (The Oak) has been invited to serve as the chairman of the New Currents jury at the 8th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) in South Korea.
  • Korean summer box office heats up


    South Korea's mid-summer season is proving to be quite competitive at the box-office, with four local pictures and two Hollywood films waging an intense competition for screens and viewers.
  • Puchon kicks off with Wonderful Days


    South Korea's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicked off on July 10 amid strong press coverage and increasing interest from local fans.
  • Korea's Taewon and Cinema Service may end partnership


    South Korean import/production company Taewon Entertainment has announced that it is transferring local distribution rights for Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King from Cinema Service to rival distributor CJ Entertainment.
  • Korean multiplex breaks single-day ticket sales record


    A 16-screen multiplex run by South Korea's Megabox Cineplex has broken a local one-day admissions record, with the venue selling a total of 31,372 tickets on Saturday June 28.
  • South Korea, France re-open co-production treaty talks


    South Korea and France have re-entered negotiations to draw up a co-production treaty, following the signing of an informal co-operation agreement at last year's Pusan International Film Festival between the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC) and the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC).
  • Korean horror breaks local opening record


    Local horror film A Tale Of Two Sisters has become the biggest Korean opener in history, recording 774,500 viewers ($4m) from 158 prints over the weekend.
  • Korean film-makers rage against quota threat


    The South Korean film community has reacted strongly to statements from Korea's Ministry of Finance & Economy calling for the reduction or abolition of the nation's Screen Quota system.
  • Fantastic line-up for Korea's Puchon festival


    The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has unveiled an expanded lineup for its 7th edition, which will be held from July 10-19 in the Korean city of Bucheon, near Seoul.
  • Plenus plans merger with Korea's online game giant, NetMarble


    Plenus Entertainment, parent company of South Korean major Cinema Service, has unveiled plans to merge with Korea's largest online game company NetMarble.
  • Korean energy conglomerate enters film funding


    South Korea's Daesung Group, a major energy conglomerate, has unveiled plans to enter the Korean film industry as an investor.
  • France's MK2 boards Korea's Hong Sang-soo project


    The as-yet untitled fifth project by South Korean director Hong Sang-soo has secured partial financing from French production/distribution company MK2.
  • Iranian Exam wins Jeonju Int'l Film Fest


    The 4th edition of the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) in South Korea wrapped on Sunday with Iranian director Nasser Refaie winning the top award in the Asian NewComers section with his film Exam. The debut work centers around a group of Iranian women who gather to take a university entrance examination.
  • Korean Memories Of Murder holds off X2


    Memories Of Murder, the second film by director Bong Joon-ho (Barking Dogs Never Bite), has become a major success at the South Korean box-office, holding off strong competition from X2: X-Men United to remain at number 1 in its second week.
  • Korean mega-merger cancelled


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment announced on April 4 that it had called off its proposed merger with rival studio Cinema Service, which would have created the Korean film industry's biggest-ever company.
  • Korea's Good Fellas targets Vietnam for multiplex growth


    Good Fellas, a Korean exhibition company, is to open its second cinema in Vietnam in May with a dozen more in the pipeline, confirming Vietnam as one of the most promising, untapped international cinema markets.
  • New film investment, distribution company launched in South Korea


    Kim Dong-joo, ex-president of Korea Pictures, has announced the launch of an ambitious new investment and distribution company to focus on film and the performing arts.
  • World premiere of If You Were Me to open Korea's Jeonju fest


    The fourth Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea will screen the world premiere of If You Were Me, an omnibus collection dealing with human rights and shot by six leading Korean directors, as its opening film.
  • Distributors jockey for position as Korean majors merge


    Faced with the merger of South Korea's two biggest film companies, mid-sized distributors are jockeying for position in a rapidly changing market.
  • Film-maker appointed as South Korea's Minister of Culture


    South Korean film director Lee Chang-dong has been named Minister of Culture and Tourism in a surprise appointment by new Korean president Roh Moo-hyun. This marks the first time in Korea's history that a member of the film industry will head the ministry.
  • Columbia TriStar starts shooting first South Korean production


  • South Korean cinema risks becoming a victim of its own success


    If the signals emerging from the South Korean film world these days seem a bit contradictory, it may be because the industry is on the brink of a transformation.
  • South Korean comedy attracts record admissions


    Romantic comedy My Tutor Friend has opened to blockbuster business in South Korea, having drawn over a million admissions in its first five days.
  • New movie giant emerges in Asia


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment signed a memorandum of understanding today to acquire a stake of up to 35.4% in Plenus Entertainment, the parent company of rival studio Cinema Service.
  • South Korean exhibitors enjoy robust health


    South Korea's top three cinema circuits enjoyed strong growth in 2002 on the back of a building boom and an overall 20% rise in admissions.
  • Korea's A-Line to re-launch as independent


    A-Line, an informal distribution network formed last year between five South Korean companies, has announced it is parting ways with KangJeGyu Films and re-launching itself as a separate entity.
  • Korean cinema admissions break 100m for first time in 29 years


    Annual cinema admissions in South Korea have passed 100 million for the first time since 1973, according to a report issued by film company IM Pictures.
  • Mega-merger set to rock South Korean film industry


    A radical shake-up of the South Korean film industry is in the offing, with major CJ Entertainment reportedly entering final negotiations to acquire 40% of Plenus Entertainment, owner of the industry's second major studio, Cinema Service.
  • Bomb threat escalates for Korea's CJ Entertainment


    Police in Seoul are searching for a man who sent a mail bomb to the head offices of CJ Entertainment as part of an extortion scheme.
  • Three new Korean films maintain strong local market share


    South Korean cinema continues to perform strongly, with local films currently maintaining a 45% market share in Seoul and three Korean titles heading the box-office this weekend.
  • Jealousy, Passion share top honours at Pusan


    South Korea's Park Chan-ok's (pictured, right) debut Jealousy Is My Middle Name and Indian director K.N.T. Sastry's (pictured, left) The Rite' A Passion shared the top prize in the Pusan International Film Festival's New Currents competition for first and second-time Asian directors.
  • Asia gets multi-purpose market after Korea's BIFCOM-PPP merge


    The Busan International Film Commission Exhibition (BIFCOM), held during the Pusan International Film Festival, is set to merge with the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP)'s Korean Film Industry Centre to form an expanded industry expo for the Asian market in 2003.
  • Pusan's PPP shows way into Asian film


    Prospective financiers and co-producers will get the opportunity to invest in some of Asia's hottest film projects at the 5th Pusan Promotion Plan which runs November 18-20 in South Korea.
  • Asian Film Industry Network to be launched at Pusan film festival


    The Korean Film Commission has unveiled a long-term initiative to promote Asian film industries, to be launched at the upcoming Pusan International Film Festival.
  • Pusan film critics announce annual awards


    Park Chan-wook's hard-hitting Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance has been named Korea's top film of the year in the annual Pusan Film Critics Awards.
  • Jackie Chan suits up for hit in Korea


    Jackie Chan-vehicleThe Tuxedo landed top of the South Korean box office last weekend with an impressive $1.96m nationwide opening. Sporting a strong screen average of $11,140, the film is another hit for Chan, who has a long history of box-office success in Korea, and easily bested the $1.4m opening for Rush Hour 2 last year.
  • South Korea's MP Entertainment launches ambitious film production fund


    South Korean production/talent management company MP Entertainment has announced the formation of an ambitious $41.7m (WON 50bn) film production fund, which is expected to greatly boost its profile in the rapidly-evolving Korean industry.
  • South Korean cinema boosts local market share


    South Korean cinema has maintained a 44% market share in Seoul through the end of September, according to figures released this week by the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC). Overall admissions were up 16.4% on the same period last year, despite what was viewed as a disappointing summer season.
  • South Korea adds to list of foreign-language Oscar submissions


    Lee Chang-dong's third film Oasis has been picked to represent South Korea for the best foreign language Oscar.
  • Pusan Int'l film festival unveils 7th edition line-up


    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has unveiled the line-up of its 7th edition, to be held from November 14-23 in South Korea.
  • Cinema Service boosts investment in Korean film industry


    South Korean major Cinema Service is to boost its investment in local film production amidst what appears to be an exodus of venture capital from the industry.
  • Korean box office hit may be the last of the blockbusters


    New Korean gangster comedy, For The Glory Of Our Family (pictured) looks like it could be a contender for the new local all-time box-office crown. But the relative success of its performance pales in comparison with the recent disastrous failure of local mega-budget title: Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl.
  • Village Roadshow unloads 50% interest in leading Korean exhibitor


    Australian exhibition giant Village Roadshow announced the long-anticipated sale of its 50% stake in leading Korean cinema circuit CGV for $81m (A$150m). Korean partner CJ Entertainment, which has operational control of the company, will retain its 50% share.
  • Loews leads South Korean exhibition push


    The South Korean exhibition industry looks to be stepping up its rate of growth, with U.S.-based Loews Cineplex announcing an additional $21m investment in Megabox Cineplex.
  • Six Korean directors to create human rights omnibus


    The South Korean Human Rights Commission has announced plans to assemble six high-profile Korean directors to shoot an omnibus-style collection of short films dealing with themes related to discrimination and human rights.
  • Korean films surprise again but studio titles hold their own at BO


    Thesummer season has produced some unexpected heavyweights at the South Koreanbox-office. Following a year in whichlocal titles My Sassy Girl ($24m) and Kick The Moon ($21)dominated theatres, the strongest performer has been Steven Spielberg's MinorityReport, remaining atop thebox-office for five weeks after its July 26 release and earning over $17m.
  • Korean cinemas exceeding local quota requirements


    Korean cinemas are screening local films at a record-setting pace, exceeding requirements of the nation's Screen Quota System for the second year on record and raising issues of 'cultural exception'.
  • Cinema Service set to join Korean exhibition giants


    Korean major Cinema Service is poised to become the country's fourth exhibition giant when it unveils detailed plans next week to build a country-wide multiplex circuit (see April 14).
  • South Korean film banned from screening in home territory


    Cannes Critics' Week selection Too Young To Die by South Korean director Park Jin-pyo has been effectively banned in its home country, following a decision by the local Media Ratings Board to give the film a 'restricted' rating.
  • Korean films keep up record pace set in first half of 2002


    With the country in a buoyant mood after last week's news that Korean films leapt 7.8% to take a 46.1% share of the Seoul market in the first half of this year, the signs are promising that a string of new Korean films will also score at the local box office.
  • Korean films take 46% local market share in first half of 2002


    Korean films leapt 7.8% to take a 46.1% share of the Seoul market with 44 films released during the first half of 2002, according to figures published by the Korean Film Commission.
  • PiFan festival unveils fantastic line-up


    Gurinder Chadha's hit movie Bend It Like Beckham has been chosen as the opening film of the 6th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), which runs from July 11-20 in South Korea.
  • Korean comedy scores during World Cup fever


    Despite huge competition from the World Cup, South Korean comedy Bet On My Disco has scored triumphantly for new distributor A-Line, drawing over half a million admissions ($2.8m) in its first four days.
  • Korea's Beautiful Mari wins Annecy animation festival


    South Korean feature My Beautiful Girl, Mari (pictured) was awarded the Grand Prix for best animated feature at the 26th Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which drew to a close on June 8. The prize for best animated short film was awarded to Barcode, directed by Adriaan Lokman of the Netherlands.
  • One Day Out wins top prize at South Korean shorts festival


    Kim Sun-kyung's 16mm short One Day Out (pictured) has won the Busan Asian Short Film Festival Grand Prize, which was awarded on Sunday.
  • Korean Film Commission appoints president and new staff


    Lee Choong-jik (pictured) has been appointed chairman of the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC), the nation's foremost promotional body. Chang Mi-hee, a film professor and former actress, was named vice chairman.
  • The Way Home wins Korea's top Grand Bell award


    Lee Jeong-hyang's The Way Home was named best picture at South Korea's 39th annual Grand Bell (Daejong) Awards, held in Seoul on May 26.
  • Shaolin Soccer scores in South Korea


    Hong Kong director Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer has scored big in South Korea, grossing $1.2m nationwide in its first three days to secure the number two spot at the box-office behind Spider-Man.
  • Korea's Cinema Service plans own studio and multiplex circuit


    South Korean major Cinema Service has successfully carried out a merger with its parent company, Locus Holdings, at the same time completing a major internal restructure to facilitate the construction of its own studio and its entry into the exhibition sector.
  • Fourth Korean film to be remade by Hollywood


    Warner Bros has bought the remake rights to Lee Hyun-seung's Korean melodrama Il Mare from South Korean production company Sidus Corporation, making it the fourth film to be acquired for adaptation by a major Hollywood studio.
  • Hollywood races to remake Korean comedies


    Two Korean hit comedies from 2001, My Sassy Girl and Hi, Dharma!, have been sold to Hollywood studios for English-language remakes.
  • Female director is Korea's youngest ever


    South Korea's Ahn's World Production has begun principal photography on its first feature in three years, a romantic comedy to be shot by 25-year old female director Moh Ji-eun.
  • President abduction story opens South Korean fest


    Berlin competition film KT, a Japanese-Korean co-production about the 1973 political abduction of current South Korean president Kim Dae Jung, will open South Korea's Jeonju International Film Festival, the event announced this week.
  • Korea's film floatation boom yet to materialise


    The phenomenally successful share floatation of Korea's CJ Entertainment earlier this year raised expectations of a film-fuelled boom reminiscent of Germany's Neuer Markt in the late 1990s.
  • Columbia Tristar enters Korean film production


    Columbia Tristar is to fully finance a major new Korean production directed by Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk. The $10m feature, titled Silmi Island, is the first instance of a Hollywood studio fully funding and taking on worldwide distribution rights for a Korean movie.
  • Korea's Starmax, Gaonix merger eyes Chinese market


    South Korean entertainment firm Starmax has announced a merger with Gaonix, a holding company listed on Korea's KOSDAQ exchange. The merger is seen as being partly motivated by Starmax's unsuccessful bid for a listing on the exchange last year.
  • South Korean production steps up activity


    A frenzy of activity seems to have taken over South Korea's production sector. After a record 49% market share for 2001 that proved local films can make big money, more and more projects, many from the best known names in the Korean industry, are getting underway.
  • Hollywood plans remakes of Korean comedies


    Two Korean hit comedies from 2001, My Sassy Girl and Hi, Dharma!, have been sold to Hollywood studios for English-language remakes.
  • Korean investors swarm to country's first film IPO


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment celebrated a triumphant IPO on Korea's over-the-counter KOSDAQ exchange on Feb 5, seeing its share price double in value during the day.
  • Korea's Showbox seals strategic alliance


    Recently-established Korean distribution company Showbox (see Screendaily, January 30) has announced a strategic tie-up with KM Culture, IM Pictures and Korea's largest studio Cinema Service.
  • Korean industry supports screen quota system


    Leading figures from the Korean film industry have united in a show of support for the nation's screen quota system, after reports suggesting that the government is planning to weaken the quota's restrictions on movie theatres.
  • New entrant swells Korea's distribution sector


    In what is rapidly becoming a crowded market, the South Korean distribution sector is to receive another player in Showbox, a subsidiary of local exhibition company Mediaplex.
  • A-Line launches South Korean distribution network


    A major new player has arrived in the South Korean film industry in the form of a new investment/production/distribution network named A-Line, to be run collectively by KTB Entertainment, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Kang JeGyu Films and the recently-established EGG Films. More a broad partnership than a distinct corporate entity, the network has already secured distribution rights to 20 upcoming films.
  • Korea celebrates unprecedented domestic successes


    With all of the five highest grossing films of the year being local productions and the top title, Friend (pictured), taking the all-time box office crown, Korean cinema achieved an unprecedented 46.1% market share for Seoul last year, and an estimated 49.1% for the country as a whole.
  • CJ Ent wins Korea's film industry flotation race


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment will become the territory's first film company to go public with an initial public offering on Korea's KOSDAQ exchange on February 5.
  • Lord Of The Rings' $6m in six days in S Korea


    Worldwide smash The Lord Of The Rings has scored an impressive opening in South Korea, where it has drawn $6m and over a million viewers in its first six days. Distributed by local major Cinema Service, the film opened on January 1 on 184 screens nationwide, earning $1.44m on its opening day.
  • CJ becomes Korea's first international distributor


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment will become the first Korean company to distribute directly into international territories when it releases the political drama Joint Security Area (pictured) in Hong Kong on January 3, 2002.
  • Korea's Cinema Service launches distribution arm


    Korean major Cinema Service has launched a new subsidiary, Big Blue Film, that will focus on the distribution of local features. The company will be headed by Choi Yong-bae, former head of distribution at Cinema Service, and will aspire to a slate of ten films per year.
  • Hana Bank launches Korea's first film fund


    South Korea's Cinema Service is poised to tap into a new source of film financing with the launch of a public film investment fund by Hana Bank. The $7.8m Hana Cinema Trust Fund No. 1, which kicks off on Dec 3, marks the first ever involvement of the banking sector in Korean film finance.
  • Hi Dharma sets new S Korean admissions record


    South Korean comedy Hi Dharma (pictured) has set a new box-office record by drawing 203,600 viewers in Seoul on its opening weekend and earning over $4m nationwide.. Filling seats to a 93% capacity, the film broke the previous 2-day Seoul record of 197,426 admissions set in 2000 by Mission: Impossible 2.
  • Korea's CJ sells Musa to multiple territories


    Korean giant CJ Entertainment enjoyed a profitable MIFED with strong sales of its film Musa (aka Musa The Warrior) which premiered in September at an interrupted Toronto festival.
  • Korea's CJ poised to suck up newcomer Tube


    South Korean major CJ Entertainment is poised to acquire independent outfit Tube Entertainment in a deal that looks to reshape the landscape of the Korean film industry.
  • Five Korean directors team to form EGG Films


    Five established South Korean filmmakers have grouped together to form the nation's first in-house production company. Named EGG Films, the company will tie up the services of directors Park Chan-wook (Joint Security Area), Bae Chang-ho (My Heart), Kwak Jae-yong (My Sassy Girl), Lee Young-jae (Harmonium In My Memory) and Lee Mu-young (The Humanist) for the next six years.
  • Korea enjoys biggest industry boom since 1960s


    Not since the 1960s has Korean cinema enjoyed a boom that compares to this year. Four local features - Friend, My Sassy Girl, Kick The Moon and My Wife Is A Gangster - make up the top-grossing releases of the year to date.
  • South Korea's Pusan fest's 6th edition line-up


    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has unveiled the complete lineup for its 6th edition, to be held Nov. 9-17 in Busan, South Korea. Opening with the world premiere of Korean director Bae Chang-ho's The Last Witness, the festival will screen a total of 202 films from a record 60 countries.
  • My Wife Is A Gangster breaks local Korean record


    South Korean comedy My Wife Is A Gangster opened to phenomenal returns during Korea's 5-day Chusok holiday, filling cinemas to 94% capacity for a nationwide gross of $7.6m, and setting a new record for being the first local release to reach one million admissions in 5 days.
  • South Korean film minister appointed


    South Korean President Kim Dae Jung has appointed Namgung Jin to serve as his next Minister of Culture and Tourism, following the nomination of former Minister Kim Han-gill as a candidate in a local parliamentary election.
  • Korean Film Commission awards production support


    The Korean Film Commission (KOFIC) has announced the recipients of its second annual production support program for art and experimental films worth a total $1.6m.
  • South Korea begins construction of film studio


    The South Korean port city of Busan (formerly known as Pusan) has begun construction of an indoor film studio in a bid to attract local and overseas film crews to shoot in the city. Set to be unveiled during the 2001 Pusan International Film Festival in November, the studio will complement the "one-stop-shop service" provided to film crews by the Busan Film Commission.
  • CJ Entertainment could be Korea's first film IPO


    South Korean film major CJ Entertainment has registered with KOSDAQ, the local technology exchange, for a review in preparation for going public. A founding shareholder of DreamWorks SKG and a key player in the local film industry, CJ Entertainment may be the first of Korea's film companies to carry out an IPO.
  • South Korean distributor sparks censorship change


    A court case brought by South Korean distributor Indiestory against the national Media Ratings Board, has resulted in a groundbreaking decision that is likely to curtail the board's power to censor films.
  • Korea may withdraw national film festival support


    Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism is reconsidering the financial support it awards to the nation's international film festivals. Faced with a substantial increase in the number of festivals applying for support, the ministry has announced that its current policy will apply only until the end of 2002, after which festivals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Douglas Lee replaces veteran HG Lee at UIP Korea


    UIP Korea has named Douglas Lee to serve as its new general manager, following the retirement of HG Lee (Lee Hong-Geun), manager of the Korean branch since 1991. Lee, a Korean who has lived most of his life overseas, worked previously in Singapore as the marketing director for UIP's Asian operations.
  • Wild Beauty enchants Korean audiences


    Korean romantic comedy A Wild Beauty, directed by Kwak Jae-yong, is enjoying runaway success in its home territory, having grossed a nationwide total of $8.9 million in its first ten days on release.
  • North Korean films to get South Korean release


    Two North Korean films appear likely to secure a release in South Korean theaters in the second half of this year, following the groundbreaking release of Shin Sang-okk's Pulgasari in Summer 2000.
  • 'Father of Korean cinema' starts 98th film


    Following the worldwide success of his previous feature Chunhyang, Veteran Korean director Im Kwon-taek has started production of his 98th film. Titled Chwi-hwa-seon in Korean, the film chronicles the true story of 19th century painter Jang Seung-eop, whose free lifestyle and eccentric personality earned him as much fame as his accomplished painting (the title refers to the artist's habit of painting while drunk).
  • Local comedy is Korea's biggest summer hit


    Local Korean comedy Kick The Moon has passed Pearl Harbor's $12.1m and The Mummy Returns' $11.5m to become this summer's biggest box-office hit, and the second-highest grossing film of the year after the smash hit Friend. As of July 22 the film had attracted over 3.1 million admissions nationwide to record a gross of $16.7m in its fifth week of release. The current tally makes it Korea's most successful comedy ever and the 4th highest-grossing Korean feature ...
  • Chen Kaige to direct big-budget Korean epic


    Chinese director Chen Kaige has signed on to direct a $6.2m Korean film as his next project.
  • Korean films leap 14% at local box office


    During the first six months of 2001, Korean films have carved out a 39% share of their domestic market a spectacular leap of 14% compared with the same period last year.