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KOREA FEATURE


Dinosaur action film Tarbosaurus has been pre-sold to a number of territories


tinue to sell, as do certain K-pop vehicles, with new buyers cropping up for Korean sellers, too. Pre-sales work for big-budget films with dis-


A market with bite H


igh-concept Korean films with impres- sive production values are selling well and securing pre-sales to multiple ter- ritories. Arthouse and genre films con-


tinctive concepts, such as CJ Entertainment’s 3D sea creature feature Sector 7, which is due out locally as a summer tentpole movie. On the basis of a two-minute promo, it has sold to France (TF1), Germany (MFA+), Singapore and Malaysia (Scorpio East), Thailand (M Pictures), Taiwan (Serenity), Indonesia and the Philip- pines (VSG), the Middle East (Shooting Stars) and Vietnam (BHD). CJ’s dinosaur action film Tarbosaurus has also


done a slew of pre-sales to territories including Russia (Carmen Films), Germany (MFA+), the Middle East (ECS) and Portugal (Zon Luso- mundo). CJ is also selling the animation Bolts And Blip: The Movie which will make its market premiere in Cannes. Directed by Peter Lepen- iotis, the film is based on the TV series which has been broadcast in Canada, Spain and Australia. The animation pre-sold to Russia (Luxor), Indo- nesia (PT Cipta Mutu) and Thailand (J Bics). Not to be outdone by its main rival, Show-


box’s big-budget titles such as this year’s Un Cer- tain Regard film The Murderer (aka The Yellow Sea) and the upcoming war movie The Front Line are also selling well, with the latter recently pre-selling to Germany (KSM GmbH), UK (Showbox Media Group) and Thailand (STG


Multimedia) following AFM. Song Il-gon’s first commercial romance Always has also pre-sold to Japan (Pony Canyon). Since being introduced to foreign buyers at


the AFM, Showbox’s period mystery Detective K: Secret Of Virtuous Widow has sold to a slew of territories including Japan (Twin Co), China (Lens Media), Taiwan (Catchplay), Thailand (J-Bics), Australia (MinGyo for theatrical only), German-speaking Europe (Elephant Films) and US (CGV America for theatrical only). Finecut’s director of international sales, Yun-


jeong Kim, notes a variety of films have started selling in different ways to respective territories. “Now the sales regions such as Japan, Europe,


North America, South America, Southeast Asia and even Australia are spread out with more variety. [We’re seeing] companies that are dis- tributing Korean films for the first time which are not previous main buyers of Korean films, so our target buyer group is breaking down into a more diversified market,” she says. The company’s 2010 Cannes titles Poetry and


Bedevilled recently added sales to Canada (Mon- grel Media), with Bedevilled also selling to France (Distrib Films). Poetry opened in the US (Kino Lorber), as did I Saw The Devil (Magno- lia), on limited release with more screens being added. Since AFM, the company has also sold Journals Of Musan to Japan (Star Sands) and war movie, 71 — Into The Fire to France (CTV). M-Line Distribution manager Nahie JY Kim


notes the espionage comedy My Girlfriend Is An Agent and the period comedy Battlefield Heroes


The growing popularity of the K-pop phenomenon is helping to drive overseas sales of Korean films. Jean Noh looks at these and other titles from the country which are on offer here in the market at Cannes


‘Our target buyer group is breaking down into a more diversified


market’ Yunjeong Kim, Finecut


both sold to Germany (to Splendid and KSM respectively), which previously had been “a wasteland for comedies” from Korea. Although certainly not of the same level as in


the heyday of bidding wars for Japanese rights, sales to that territory continue in a steady stream. “The Japan market is difficult but with a distinctive concept and well-known actors,” says Kim. “The Haunters sold to Japan (Twin), while K-pop concert movie 2AM Show sold to Japan and most Asian territories,” she adds. The strength of the K-pop phenomenon is also


seen in the pre-sales of CJ’s horror film White: Cursed Melody, about a K-pop duo which stars Eunjung, a member of real-life girl band T-ara. The film sold to Festive for Singapore and Malay- sia on the strength of its teaser trailer and poster in HK Filmart. Directed by Kim Gok and Kim Sun, it is making its market premiere in Cannes. Arthouse titles sell slowly but surely. Last


year’s Cannes Competition title The Housemaid has continued to do sales through AFM and HK Filmart to Germany (Alamode), UK (Axiom Films), Sweden (Atlantic Film) and Norway (AS Fidalgo). Genre films including Breathless and Man Of Vendetta have pre-sold for Showbox to North America (KRCG ). Remake deals also seem to be back on the


table, with Hello Ghost getting picked up for a US remake by Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, while Finecut reports interest on remake rights for Kim Jee-woon’s thriller I Saw The Devil and romantic drama Cyrano Agency. This Cannes market will be one to watch. n


s May 14, 2011 Screen International at the Cannes Film Festival 39 n


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