“Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron’s lovingly recreated portrayal of family life in 1970s Mexico, is to get a theatrical release in South Korea. The film was originally commissioned for online streaming giant Netflix.
Pan Cinema will handle the release in Korea from Dec. 12. It is currently unclear how many screens the film will get, or how long it will play. It is scheduled to debut online from Dec. 14.
The additional big screen outing in Korea, comes after Netflix earlier agreed to limited theatrical outings for “Roma” in the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S., the film will be in cinemas for roughly three weeks, beginning Nov. 21.
“Roma” debuted to great acclaim at the Venice and Toronto festivals in September and is considered a front-runner for the Oscars. Unlike the U.S. and U.K., which are both home to large numbers of Academy members, Korea has little sway in deciding the destination of the Oscar prizes. Nevertheless, there are still plausible reasons for an outing in Korea.
The film played strongly with Busan festival audiences in October. And Korean commercial audiences regularly turn out in large numbers for films that are exceptionally mounted and have standout acting performances.
Netflix may also have an eye on the Korean creative community. Netflix has previously tempted big-screen directors Bong Joon-ho (“Okja”), Park Jong-woo (“Pandora) and Kim Seong-hun (upcoming series “Kingdom”) with healthy budgets for challenging movies that other studios might have deemed too uncommercial to produce. Adding a theatrical release component should help the company to keep attracting big-name Korean directors.
Separately, it was announced on Wednesday that Netflix streaming service will be available on U+tv, LG U+’s IPTV set top box. It is the first time that Netflix can be accessed through an IPTV service in Korea.