A biopic about a Korean composer who was found guilty of spying for the North while in Germany is about to become the firstSouth Korean film to shoot on location in North Korea's capital city.
LJ Film, with the backing ofparent company Innotz/Prime Entertainment, looks set to film Yun Isang, TheWounded Dragon (working title) in Pyongyang.
Lee Seung-jae, CEO of LJFilm and head of production at Prime Entertainment, arrived back in Seoul thisweekend after a week of talks with North Korean authorities. "The North Koreansare looking at the project favorably," Lee told Screen International.
"If all goes according toplan, we'll finish pre-production within a year and go into production nextyear, with half the shoot in Pyongyang."
The film depicts the lifestory of celebrated composer Yun Isang who was arrested for being part of aNorth Korean spy ring in 1967 while studying in Berlin during the Cold War.
He was sentenced to lifeimprisonment by the South Korean government, but artists around the worldpetitioned with the German government to successfully free him.
The other half of the filmwill take place in Germany where Yun lived out the rest of his life. PandoraFilm is to co-produce the feature, currently budgeted at $8m. LJ and Pandoraformerly co-produced Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring together in 2003.
"The time has come for aproject like this," Lee noted, remarking on political conditions on thepeninsula, as well as the growth of South Korean films and his own maturingproduction capabilities.