The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) is launching an initiative to promote the country’s acting talent on the world stage. It will roll out from March, ahead of the year’s major film festivals.
The Korean Actors 200 campaign, akin to the Shooting Stars operation backed by the European Film Promotion program, is described as a “methodical project” that sees the selection of 100 men and 100 women who represent the present and the future of Korean film.
KOFIC says that the selection process takes into consideration the performers’ box office power over the last decade, awards earned at festivals in Korea and abroad, their contribution to independent cinema, and their participation in international projects.
A dedicated website will contain filmographies, new portrait photography, show reels, biographies and a list of particular characteristics and strengths for each. Portrait images will be supplied by two leading photographers Kim Jung-man and Ahn Sung-jin.
“We plan on providing the same content in a brochure that we will send to people in charge of the world’s most prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, and Venice, international VOD service providers like Netflix, international talent agencies, and leading media outlets,” KOFIC explained on its website.
The move comes at the end of a year in which “Parasite” won multiple Oscars, and Korean acting talent has achieved new levels of recognition in overseas media and at festivals. Youn Yuh-jung and Steven Yeun are currently being lauded for their performances in “Minari,” Kim Min-hee won plaudits in 2020 for her performance in “The Woman Who Ran,” and Lee Joo-young was named Asian rising star at the New York Asian Film Festival.
Additionally, Lee Min-ho secured a prominent role in “Pachinko” for Apple Plus, while Song Kang-ho (“Parasite” “Memories of Murder”), Bae Doo-na (“Cloud Atlas,” “The Host”) and Gang Dong-won (“Parasite,” “The Priests”) will head the cast of “Baby, Box, Broker,” the next film to be directed by acclaimed Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu (“Shoplifters”).