‘Host’ producer enters distrib arena

Chungeorahm partners with M&FC for slate

SEOUL — South Korea’s distribution sector is set to receive a new mid-sized player in Chungeorahm, producer of record-breaking hit “The Host.”

Having formed a partnership with investor M&FC, Chungeorahm will aim for a slate of 12 local pics and 10 imports per year. Company has five titles lined up for the remainder of 2007.

Chungeorahm was originally launched in 2001 as a distributor specializing in Korean cinema, reaching third place in distributor rankings in 2003. However in recent years the company had closed its distribution arm to focus on production and investment.

“The current situation, in which too much dependence is being placed on a few major distributors, is hampering the sector’s growth,” said Chungeorahm prexy Choi Yong-bae. The company plans to draw in more partners in the future via the launch of new investment funds and other means.

The announcement is drawing added interest in that Chungeorahm is 30% owned by iHQ, which in turn is controlled by local giant SK Telecom. With the continued diversification of new media, SK Telecom has shown increased interest in the film industry as a source of content.

Upcoming titles include “The Darwin Awards,” Lee Myung-Se’s anticipated “M,” new films by helmers Hong Sang-soo and Kim Tae-yong, and Alexi Tan title “Blood Brothers” from Hong Kong/Taiwan.

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