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Film Industry's Status After Screen Quota Cut

2006/07/13 | 277 views | Permalink | Source

Now before the FTA talks, Korea announced a drastic cut in a decades-old policy to protect the domestic film industry.
Two weeks have passed since the screen quota system was reduced by half, with movie theaters now required to show Korean productions for just 73 days of the year, and not the previous 146.
Son Hee-kyung reports on how Korean films have been doing since the controversial cut came into effect.

RECORDED: "The last film I saw was "Poseidon". It was fun.

RECORDED: "A lot of Hollywood blockbusters are playing nowadays. I liked watching "Superman Returns".

RECORDED: "I've seen "The King and the Clown", and "Barefoot Ki-bong", and I want to watch Arang. I hear it's good".

The domestic film industry is dealing with its feared worst-case scenario: the cut in the screen quota, and the domination of Hollywood flicks nationwide for ten consecutive weeks.
But the situation doesn't seem all that bad, since the lower screen quota took effect on July 1st.

RECORDED: "This month, horror films like Arang and A.P.T have received positive responses from audiences. We expect Hollywood movies to cool off after 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2'. The release of 'Hanbando' and The Host should bring the country's movie industry back to life".

Im says June was a slow month for cinema due to the World Cup soccer finals, but that July is likely to attract more moviegoers with animation, horror and family films.
But others say it's only a matter of time before the dreaded consequences of the screen quota cut come to the surface.

RECORDED: "The cut in the screen quota will drastically worsen opportunities for workers in the film industry and the number of domestically made films will plunge. Workers will get laid off and the nation's film sector could have no future. It's impossible to protect Korean films with a screening minimum of just 73 days a year".

Prospects are high that low-budget films will disappear, before audiences have a chance to see them.
But the government sees things differently.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry says the domestic movie industry CAN survive, even under weaker protection.

RECORDED: "Seeing the explosive popularity of Korean movies made the government believe that the domestic industry no longer needs protection. Priority is also on concluding a free trade agreement with the United States".

But film workers are still not convinced of the quota cut.
To make their voices heard, they have taken to the streets to protest.

"The local movie industry is urging the government to develop countermeasures to settle the issue. In the meantime, protests like this are likely to continue. But for now, it seems as if the Korean film industry won't back down anytime soon.

Son Hee-kyung, Arirang News".

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