Korean film distributor Indiestory's Old Partner, an ultra-low-budget documentary about an octogenarian man, his wife and his loyal, hard-working cow of 30 years has become South Korea's biggest independent film hit on record.

Focusing onthe relationship between theman and his cowand thevalue of humble labor, Lee Chung-ryoul's 78-minute HD documentaryhas taken the record of top independent film in Korea with 300,000 admissions and a gross of $1.5m.

It beat out previous record-holder Once, the Irish musician film which clocked up 200,000 admissions when released Sept 20, 2007 - and which was recently re-released Jan 15 on a wave of popularity enjoyed by 'small' (low-budget indie) films these days in Korea.

Old Partner opened on seven screens on Jan 15 and has expanded to 70 screens in the past month. The film is looking to go to 90 screens in its fifth week.

Leading exhibitor CJ CGV's programmers have noted that although previous indie film successes were created predominantly by audiences in their thirties, Old Partner is seeing a majority of viewers in their fifties and over, with couples in their sixties likely drawn by nostalgia for their hometowns.

Old Partner screened in the last Pusan International Film Festival's Wide Angle section, and Indiestory is currently selling the film at EFM.

The cow documentary is preceeded on this week's Korea box office charts by CJ Entertainment's Marine Boy at no.1, John Woo's Red Cliff 2, and long-run local hit Scandal Makers at no. 3 with an accumulated 7.85 million admissions. Old Partner is followed by Valkyrie, Seven Pounds, Inkheart, City Of Damnation, Changling, and Kitchen. (See Global Box Office section on Screendaily.com for full charts.)