Promote independent and low-budget filmsWhat changes do we expect in the new administration’s cinema policy? Film industry insiders are most anxious about the upcoming changes. Last year, two Korean movies attracted 10 million viewers, and more than 100 million people watched Korean movies. As the public’s attention on film is growing, we are paying close attention to the choices of the new administration will make.
As a filmmaker and industry insider, I wish the new administration’s keyword of “inclusive growth” to be applied to the film industry as well. At present, our film industry still has considerable shadows. As the conglomerates entered the industry and expand aggressively, many independent and small-sized filmmakers were pushed out. Giants swept up the market in general - from investment to production to distribution, and the real film industry people lost projects and jobs.
We need a healthy foundation for creative commercial films by backing individual creators and filmmakers. It will ultimately boost conglomerates’ global competency in the long run as they are the main investors.
It is the nature of the film industry to thrive when an environment for free and creative activities, consistent support and interests are provided. When the basic conditions are guaranteed within fair principles, filmmakers can focus on creating good projects.
The confrontation between the young and the old, the conservative and the progressive, exists in the film industry as well. However, we all have a shared position on the development of cinema. When philosopher Sartre was about to be punished for civil disobedience, French President de Gaulle said, “How I can arrest Sartre?; he is France.” All the members of the film industry are proud that tickets to Korean movies are selling well and the international status of Korean films is elevating. It is the responsibility of the government to further support and develop the industry.
Through drastic backings on independent films and low-budget movies, which make up the foundation of the film industry, the creative and competent film crews should be able to stay on jobs. Moreover, the territory of the conglomerates should be defined so that the industry people can work with pride.
*Kim Jeong-jin A member of the Seoul Film Commission and a film director