Park Kiyong, film director and university professor, has been appointed as head of the powerful Korean Film Council (Kofic). He takes over from Kim Young-jin, who only headed the organization for a year.
Park, who was on the board of Kofic since last year, currently teaches at Dankook University’s Graduate School of Culture and Arts. He was previously director of the Kofic-funded Korean Academy of Film Arts between 2003 and 2009. He was also previously an executive committee member of the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival. As a director, he is best known for the 1997 film “Motel Cactus,” a four-part study in erotic ennui, which he coscripted with Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”).
Producer and academic, Kim Sunah, was named as the organization’s new vice chairperson. Current head of Women in Film Korea, Kim planned and produced “Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary” (2004), “Save the Green Planet” (2003), and “One Fine Spring Day” (2001).
“We will communicate more actively with film industry officials to become a trustworthy committee. We will respond to the challenges of COVID-19 to adapt quickly to the changing environment,” Park said in a statement reported by local media.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism appointed six people to join Kofic’s non-executive committee. They include: Kim Donghyun, the director of non-profit organization Association Korean Independent Film and Video (KIFV); documentary producer Choi Nakyong, head of Full Film; a second Kim Donghyun, an executive credited with last year’s “Space Sweepers”; cinematographer and trades union leader Ahn Byungho (Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother”); and Dongeui University professor Kim Iseok.
Korean box office reached an all-time high in 2019, the same year that “Parasite” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival. However, while TV and pop music have come through the pandemic era strongly, the Korean film industry has struggled to build on the momentum: cinema operations have been restricted, release schedules have been repeatedly overturned and audiences have defected to a highly competitive array of streaming services. This combination of weakness allowed a Hollywood movie (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”) to be the top film of the year, for the first time in a decade.