Fox International Productions, the local movie-making arm of 20th Century Fox, plans to expand its film production activity in Korea. From a current rate of one film per year, it could increase the pace to four movies annually.
“We’re increasing production in every market we’re in. From next year on, we probably make not even one film a year in Korea, probably two films to maybe even up to three to four films a year, as we’re doing in China,” said Tomas Jegeus, president of FIP. Jegeus was speaking Tuesday in Seoul at a press event for FIP’s fourth Korean production, Na Hong-jin’s “The Wailing” (a.k.a. “Gokseong”,) which will bow in Cannes out of competition.
In 20 years of development, South Korea has become a film industry powerhouse and the world’s fifth largest box office territory. There are three Korean films in Cannes.
“The history of Korea is incredibly rich. The modern Korean is still growing every year, which is phenomenal,” Jegeus said. He said that local titles complement Hollywood films, rather than competing with them, as local releases outperform foreign ones.
“Yes, we gave (Na) creative freedom, and you can see why. (“Wailing”) is not just phenomenally tense drama, it’s scary and everything,” said Jegeus. “’The Wailing’ is a perfect example of the type of film we want to premiere; and Na is the type of filmmaker that we want to work with.”
“Wailing” sees mysterious serial deaths occurring in a rural village, following the arrival of a stranger from outside. It stars one of Korea’s top actors, Hwang Jung-min (“Ode to My Father”,) indie heroine Chun Woo-hee (“Han Gong-ju”,) Kwak Do-won (“The Attorney”) and Japan’s Jun Kunimura (“Like Father, Like Son”.) Both of Na’s previous features also premiered in Cannes.
FIP’s Korean production kicked off in 2010, with a hand in Na’s thriller “The Yellow Sea.” Since 2013, Fox Korea and FIP have made action comedy “Running Man,” comedy “Slow Video” and crime action drama “Intimate Enemies.”