By Lee Hyo-won
Gyeonggi Province is stepping up efforts to become a cinematic hub with actor Cho Jae-hyun
as its front man. The Gyeonggi Film Council named the top actor as its new chair Thursday to promote filmmaking in the region.
The 44-year-old star of the upcoming film "Marine Boy
" accepted his two-year tenure at a ceremony Friday in downtown Seoul.
"This is a great honor and I hope the special guests with us today will serve as the council's advisory committee", said the versatile actor, who has appeared in art films such as Im Kwon-taek
's "Beyond the Years
" and hit TV soaps like "New Heart"
Cineastes including directors Im Kwon-taek
and Lee Joon-ik
and actors Ahn Sung-ki
, Choi Bool-am
, Kang Soo-yeon
, Cha Tae-hyun
and Park Si-yeon
attended the event. Kim Moon-soo, governor of Gyeonggi Province, passed on the letter of appointment from director Lee Hyun-seung
"Gyeonggi Province is very rich; we spend 13 trillion won each year", said the governor, further commenting on the region's wealth of resources, which includes the Peninsula's Western coast, Seoul's satellite cities, farming villages and historical sites dating back to the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392).
"However, 18 of our 31 counties lack a movie theater. We hope to make 2009 Year Zero for turning Gyeonggi Province into the cinematic hub of Asia", he said. The film council, an organization within the Gyeonggi Digital Contents Agency, will expand its conventional role of subsidizing films shot in the area. The governor said it would act as a bridge between cineastes and the region's resources with the possible construction of a film studio.
The endeavor will coincide with forthcoming local projects such as the Universal Studio theme park in Hwaseong and Hallyuwood (Korean entertainment contents-related theme park) in Goyang. Other regional assets include movie libraries in Heyri Art Village, the annual Pucheon (Bucheon) International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), the largest of its kind in Asia, and Digital Light Project, which aims to provide high-tech movie projectors to various venues.
"Numerous film studios dot the nation, but many of them are poorly managed. We will build a new studio in Gyeonggi Province after careful deliberation", said Jo. The actor, who has proven his business management skills as the programmer/producer of the hit play series "Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 2" (A Series of the Best Plays), added that he hopes to vitalize, along with cinema, the theater business in Gyeonggi Province.