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.
On March 17, a visit to the film's setattracted over 350 local and international press members, including 100reporters who flew in at their own expense from Japan. Also present at the event were journalistsfrom Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore.
The primary draw for Asian viewers is rising pan-Asianstar Bae Yong-joon, who has become a phenomenon in Japan after the broadcastingof his TV drama Winter Sonata.Tour groups of Bae's Japanese fans now regularly visit locations thatappear in the drama, and the small east coast town of Samcheok which hosts AprilSnow is already planning for similar tours.
"From the start of shooting, we've had 50-100Japanese tourists a day staying in Samcheok, just hoping to get a glimpse ofBae Yong-joon," said Show East's head of international business MichelleSon.
Co-starring Son Ye-jin - familiar to many Asianviewers for the 2003 hit The Classic - the film tells the story of a manand woman who meet when their unfaithful spouses are involved in a serious caraccident. It is directed by Hur Jin-ho,who has a strong reputation in Korea for understated melodramas such as OneFine Spring Day (2001) and Christmas In August (1998).
Show East is planning a simultaneous release in tenterritories this September in the hope of fending off piracy.
To date the film has been sold to Universal Japan(with unconfirmed rumours placing the price as high as $7m), Golden Scene forHong Kong, Encore Film for Singapore and Malaysia, and Spring International forTaiwan. Show East is also nearingagreements with Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and China.