Korea, U.K. team for film support

Film councils pair on market boost

The Korean Film Council and the U.K. Film Council are teaming up to support each other’s films in their respective markets.

On Sunday, KOFIC chairperson An Cheong-sook and U.K. Film Council director Clare Wise signed an agreement that will see each side provide $200,000 worth of p&a support for theatrical releases of Korean films in the U.K. and vice versa.

A minimum of four features from each side will be supported over the two-year length of the agreement, which takes effect in November 2007.

The exact amount of support provided to each project will vary according to the scale of the release. Funds will be paid out to local distributors who apply through existing p&a support programs.

Last year, eight U.K. films were screened in Korea, including “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and “The Constant Gardener”. Meanwhile two Korean films — “The Host” and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” — bowed in British theaters, while numerous other Korean releases went straight to DVD.

“South Korea is being targeted as one of the key international markets for U.K. films, but it can be a very difficult market to access,” said Wise.

“I believe it’s important not only to support one’s own national cinema, but also to promote a diversity of film releases from around the world,” added An. “Korea is weak in this regard.”