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President Park attends 8th London Korean Film Festival

President Park Geun-hye attended the special screening of the eighth London Korean Film Festival on November 6 during her state visit to Britain and talked with people from both Korean and British cultural circles. Some 400 people involved in the film industry showed up at the event at Cineworld Haymarket Cinema in downtown London.

The opening film of the festival, “Hide and Seek,” is the first feature-length film by director Huh Jung, who has swept short-film festivals such as the Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival, the Seoul International Youth Film Festival and the Seoul International Family Film Festival. Despite a small budget of KRW 2.5 billion, the film caused a huge sensation in Korea in last summer. It recorded the highest rate of return on investment --292 percent-- in the season and attracted 5.6 million domestic viewers so far, beating out some real blockbusters. As the film was produced by an independent film company that does not own a chain of movie theaters, it is considered to be a notable example of good movie-making happening on its own.

 President Park Geun-hye (right) greets viewers at the eighth London Korean Film Festival on November 6 during her state visit to Britain. (photo: Jeon Han)

President Park Geun-hye (right) greets viewers at the eighth London Korean Film Festival on November 6 during her state visit to Britain. (photo: Jeon Han)


 President Park Geun-hye (left) greets viewers at the London Korean Film Festival 2013. (photo: Jeon Han)

President Park Geun-hye (left) gives a speech at the London Korean Film Festival 2013. (photo: Jeon Han)


Before attending the festival, President Park met with people from cultural circles of both Korea and Britain and exchanged greetings with each and every one of them. The president stressed the importance of communication and empathy through culture and the exchange of human resources involved in such cultural and art projects and asked that those both play key roles in this matter.

The festival, organized by the Korean Cultural Centre in Britain, tours London and three or four other British cities every November for around two weeks. The festival usually invites Korean directors and writers and includes forums on Korean cinema and many other events. The movie screening is held in two London theaters, including Cineworld Haymarket Cinema, and in three other cities, including Oxford. A total of 45 Korean films will be screened this year and the festival runs until November 17.

Before the event, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the British Department of Culture, Media and Sport signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on culture and the creative industries, and also to mark the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Britain and Korea. The signing of the MOU is aimed at increasing cultural understanding and expanding markets for creative industries. The British government has promoted creative industries as one of its core strengths.

 1. Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo Jinryong (left) and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller hold up an MOU on Korea-Britain cooperation in the creative industries at Cineworld Haymarket Cinema in London on November 6. (photo: Jeon Han)

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo Jinryong (left) and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller hold up an MOU on Korea-Britain cooperation in the creative industries at Cineworld Haymarket Cinema in London on November 6. (photo: Jeon Han)


 President Park Geun-hye (middle) takes a photo with Korean and British government officials and Korean actors at a special screening during the London Korean Film Festival 2013. (photo: Jeon Han)

President Park Geun-hye (middle) takes a photo with Korean and British government officials and Korean actors at a special screening during the London Korean Film Festival 2013. (photo: Jeon Han)


Under the MOU, Korea and Britain will take turns holding a “Korea-Britain creative industries forum” every year to exchange knowledge and information on the latest trends in culture and the creative industries. It will act as a sort of policy innovation venue, to help create jobs and to promote economic growth. Forum participants will consist of high-ranking government officials in the creative industries and leaders from businesses and public institutions. The inaugural forum will be held in the second half of 2014 in Britain.

The two nations will also encourage more business leaders from culture and creative industries to choose a common theme for their industries’ development, to share experiences on related policymaking and to pursue joint projects. As the basis for this cooperation, the two countries intend to share the results of research and analysis on culture and the creative industries and to publish joint reports.

In order to expand cooperation, the two nations plan to share successful examples of film, television, music, fashion, video games, the performing arts, visual art and literature and increase joint production and the exchange of human resources and technologies. As a first step in this effort, they decided to cooperate on organizing the London Korean Film Festival and the London Book Fair 2014, for which Korea will be the “Honour Country.”

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 President Park Geun-hye greets visitors at the London Korean Film Festival on November 6. (photo: Jeon Han)

President Park Geun-hye greets visitors at the London Korean Film Festival on November 6. (photo: Jeon Han)


By Wi Tack-whan, Limb Jae-un
Korea.net Staff Writers
whan23@korea.kr

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