French distributor PrettyPictures has bought North Korean hit TheSchoolgirl's Diary, marking the first commercial deal for a North Koreanfilm to a Western country in recent decades.
James Velaise, president ofPretty Pictures, attended the Pyongyang International Film Festival inSeptember where The Schoolgirl's Diary,a local hit with 8 million admissions, was screened. Negotiations started in
Velaise is coincidentallyattending the Asian Film Market in South Korea and has been communicating withthe film's international sales rep Korfilm (the Korean Film Export & ImportCorp) by email and fax.
"We made genuine advancementduring the days I was in
"We're hoping for a
The girl, disgruntled thather scientist father is never home, dreams of moving out of their country houseto a high-rise apartment in the city. Velaise says what makes the filminteresting is that it is not a propaganda film, but a film about the ordinarylife of a young schoolgirl in Pyongyang, played by a very talented andattractive young actress.
North Korean leader KimJong-il, a well-known cinephile, advised on the script which was directed byJang In-hak.
Pretty Pictures has acquiredall French rights for The Schoolgirl'sDiary, along with three classic North Korean films, including 60sblack-and-white film Flower Girl.
The company has seen successin
The Schoolgirl's Diary was one of the two films produced in