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Why Korean Films are Now Showing at Theaters Worldwide

In 30 years the Korean film industry has gone from being tightly controlled by the government to having one of its films win the Venice Film Festival in 2012. In 1984 the existing Motion Picture Law was reformed and hidden talent began to emerge from all over Korea. By the mid 2000’s the Korean cinema industry began to gain international recognition as being among the finest producers of films in the world, and 2012 saw the highest number of tickets sold in the history of the Korean film industry. But just how did all of this happen?


One of the major drivers in the rapid progress of Korean filmmaking has been the support provided by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC). They help support Korean films within the country and promote them to international markets through film-based cultural exchanges. With this in mind, here are a few reasons movie goers can expect to take in some Korean cinema soon.

  1. Master Classes – the Korean Academy of Film Arts organizes workshops designed to help young filmmakers build their knowledge through direction provided by masters from within the Korean film industry. This year there’s even an opportunity for aspiring cinematographers to learn how to make their own action movie! This master class and workshop is hosted by legendary Korean martial arts filmmaker JUNG Doo-hong. Participants and future master movie makers can hail from anywhere in the world. Since students are able to produce a short action film with insight provided by their instructors, future film productions will surely draw artistic inspiration from Korea.
  2. International Collaboration – last year the KOFIC supported 33 Korean-foreign joint productions films with countries like the USA, France, Japan and China. Perhaps the signature Korean-international film event is the Florence Korea Film Fest which has been held in Florence, Italy every year since 2003. The perennial March event consists of short and feature films as well as documentaries. The festival is a bucket list destination for lovers of film the world over and has helped spread the word about Korean cinema to the global community. Similarly, there is also collaboration between KOFIC and the Jeonju and Busan International Film Festivals.
  3. Technology – having the right personal in place to assist filmmakers with everything from production and direction to acting, special effects and promotion is critical to talent management. To ensure that, KOFIC relies on the SuccessFactors Employee Profile solution and collaboration has also been made easier with the use of the SAP Jam social software platform. Quick implementations of HR changes have allowed for greater alignment with business requirements.

The resulting simplicity has dramatically improved overall employee performance. A few other notable benefits from the implementation of SuccessFactors include:

  • Objective and consistent employee evaluation
  • Timely processes for helping employees improve performance
  • Better communication between managers and employees

Perhaps Yang Kyu Shik, a team manager at KOFIC, described the impact of utilizing SuccessFactors technology best, “The platform is simple and helps us get the most out of each employees talent.”

Talent is indeed the operative word when it comes to explaining the spectacular rise of Korean film. Subsequently, KOFIC plans on continuing to bring even more Korea to Hollywood as well as box offices around the world.

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      Author's profile photo Beatriz CARRERA
      Beatriz CARRERA

      Talent is for sure one of the main reasons for the success of Korean movies - I was lucky to see some of them (bin jip, old boy) and they are absolutely awesome!

      In Europe it is not easy to get hold of Korean or other Asian movies: easier access to movies by avoiding the preselection of cinemas (Internet) and availability in English will also support their rise.

      Author's profile photo Tim Clark
      Tim Clark

      Beatriz, have you seen The Host? Another great Korean movie.

      Author's profile photo Tim Clark
      Tim Clark

      Great post Darren, thanks for sharing. Had no idea there were so many moving parts working behind the scenes in the Korean film industry.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Tim. I'd imagine that being able to attend a master class with JUNG Doo- Hong would be action packed on many levels!