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Korean Filmmaker Rides New Zealand Wave

2004/08/10 Source

The movie "Antarctic Journal" starring Song Gang-ho and Yoo Ji-tae is being shot in earnest at the Snowfarm in Queenstown, New Zealand, a nation that has been emerging as the new film power of the Southern Hemisphere after the series of the "Lord of Rings" was filmed there.
Director Yim Phil-sung visited New Zealand six times to find out various location sites and to reach agreements on support for the shooting. Staff members began preparing for working, including acclimatization training from June 5. The shooting of the film began on July 5. As the news that 50 Korean staff members including famous actors and actresses came to the country has spread, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark visited the filming site to encourage and welcome the Korean film makers.

The influential Otago Daily Times reported the news as a top story. According to the newspaper, Prime Minister Clark said that she was very excited to meet the Korean filmmakers and hoped that Korea and New Zealand would maintain cooperation in the film industry.

On Monday when Korean reporters arrived at the location site, New Zealand's state-run broadcaster TVNZ also covered the news. Ethnic Korean New Zealander broadcasting producer Melissa Lee who is in charge of 1TV's "Asia Down Under" interviewed actors Song Gang-ho and Yoo Ji-tae, director Yim Phil-sung and producer Cha Seung-jae to introduce the progress of the filming and its major staff members.

Thirty New Zealand staff members who are working with 50 Korean staff members showed interest in "The Memory of Murder" starring Song Gang-ho and "Old Boy" in which Yoo Ji-tae played one of leading roles. In particular, "Old Boy" won the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

At the New Zealand Film Festival, which began in Auckland early last month and toured major New Zealand cities, four Korean movies including the "Memory of Murder", "Old Boy", and "Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and Spring", were played. A Korean movie festival, which shows 12 Korean movies including "Untold Scandal" will be held in Auckland from October 22 to 31.

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