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Hollywood Film Industry Welcomes Korean Pictures

2005/11/14 Source

Three recent Korean films have landed to rave reviews in the United States at the 26th annual American Film Market (AFM), which ended on November 9th 2005, held in Santa Monica, CA. AFM traditionally serves as a stepping-stone for the foreign films to be introduced into the American market to compete alongside Hollywood films. The selection of "Red Shoes", "Christmas Cargo" and "Welcome to Dongmakgol" by AFM suggests that Korean film has at last arrived in America.

"Red Shoes" is an avantgarde horror flick about a female ophthalmologist who has a hobby of collecting random shoes. She finds herself in a terrifying situation after she unexpectedly discovers a certain pair of Red Shoes. Based on a fairytale by the famed writer, Hans Christian Andersen, the movie features Kim Hye-soo, one of the Korea's best-known actors. The up and coming director Kim Yong-kyun creates a compelling combination of horror and delight. Distribution rights for "Red Shoes" have been purchased by the British corporation Tartan Films, for an undisclosed sum.

Another film to receive a contract is "Christmas Cargo", an action-packed drama portraying a group of U.S troops attacked by Chinese soldiers during the Korean War. With a budget of $20 million, "Christmas Cargo" was purchased by Terrence Chang, an associate of the famed director, John Woo.

Last but not least, "Welcome to Dongmakgol", one of the top grossing film in Korea this year, has been purchased by the Japanese company, Nikassu, for $2 million. Also a story during the Korean War era, "Welcome to Dongmakgol" has been nominated as one of the best foreign films at the Academy Awards ceremony.

According to "Variety" magazine, South Korea has become "one of the most difficult places for American films to make sufficient profits", as the film industry has noticeably improved and grown selective within few years. As a matter of fact, there has been a shift as variety of Korean films have been introduced in the U.S. market and received raving reviews at international cinema events, such as Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto. Among the recent Korean hits in the United States are "Old Boy", "TaeGukKi", "Revenge is mine", and most recently, "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance".

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