UK and South Korea sign film distribution pact
The highlight of Edinburgh Film Festival for me was Korean feel-good masterpiece, I'm a Cyborg And That's OK (pictured left), sort of like Michel Gondry remaking One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. For those wanting to see more of such jems as Oldboy and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, the new accord between the UK Film Council and the (South) Korean Film Council should see plenty more Korean films shown in the UK, and British films in Korea too.
Under the arrangement, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) will create a new fund of $200,000 to support prints and advertising costs of UK films distributed in Korea over a two year period, and in return Korean films will access the same level of support from the UK Film Council’s Prints & Advertising Fund.
From the UK Film Council:
The agreement will assist in the development of audiences and the box office performance potential for the national films of each partner in the others’ home markets. During the first two years of the agreement, through data exchange at pilot project stage, the UK Film Council and KOIFC will be able to measure and understand the market potential for UK films in Korea and Korean films in the UK.
South Korea is being targeted as one of the key export territories for British films by the UK’s Film Export Group. It has one of the fastest growing cinema markets in the world. Admissions have more than doubled since 2000, from 65 million to 143 million. With an average ticket price of £3.35 it ranks as one of the top ten most valuable cinema markets in the world.
Clare Wise, Head of International at the UK Film Council says, “We look forward to finalising the new co-distribution agreement with the Korean Film Council at Pusan, moving forward in strengthening links between the UK and Asian film markets. Beyond supporting British film internationally, the agreement represents an exciting exchange for both film markets with the potential for both economic and cultural benefit.”
Pete Buckingham, Head of Distribution & Exhibition for the UK Film Council says, “Film distribution is a complex and expensive process that is crucial to the future of a film. We are committed to supporting filmmakers and their films, and giving audiences everywhere more choice in what they see. In the UK the appetite for foreign films is well established, and digital structures are facilitating distribution. Now moving from national to international level, we look forward to reciprocity in film distribution between South Korea and the UK.”