Library’s investment will include finished films, films currently in pre-production, as well as projects developed over the course of the next three years. The company was started in 2008 as a local distributor and has gone on to produce and distribute titles including “Train to Busan” “Peninsula” and “The Great battle.” It listed on the Korean stock market in 2014.
“The partnership with Library will be a driving force in expanding opportunities for Korean storytellers and accelerate our overall growth, said Kim Jae-min, president of N.E.W.’s film department. “Leveraging NEW’s existing production, financing, and distribution capabilities, we are able to support the Korean film ecosystem on a larger scale, helping bring local creators and IP to the global entertainment arena.”
“Korean-language content is in the global spotlight thanks to its vibrant local market and superpower to travel beyond borders,” said Library CEO David Taghioff. “N.E.W.’s great taste, entrepreneurial thinking, and terrific relationships, both inside and out of Korea, make them not just a great partner, but one that truly meets the moment. We are incredibly excited to add them to our growing global consortium.”
Korean film, TV and music content are each currently enjoying international success, driven by high concept content and top-notch production values. These have been leveraged further by changing distribution patterns. Digital platforms such as YouTube launched K-pop to international attention, while streaming video services such as Viu and Netflix have enabled Korean film and TV to reach a regional and global audiences that was not achieved in a world dominated by theatrical releasing.
Multiple Oscar wins for “Parasite” and awards nominations for Korean-language, U.S.-produced “Minari” have also helped some previously reluctant audiences to overcome their fear of subtitles.
Library has previously announced finance deals with U.S. producer Legendary Pictures, and its international arm Legendary Global for content in India that includes two seasons of Vikramaditya Motwane’s untitled YA series. Another deal was hatched with “Parasite” producer CJ Entertainment for its production operations in Indonesia, Vietnam and Turkey.
The latest deal was advised by CAA Media Finance, Evolution Media Capital, and O’Melveny & Myers for Library Pictures, and was by negotiated with Danny Lee and Whitney Kim for N.E.W.