The Untold Story of the Korean Film Industry

GWIKS welcomes Patrick Messerlin and Jimmyn Parc from Sciences Po Paris for a Korean Film Seminar.

The Untold Story of the Korean Film Industry
The Untold Story of the Korean Film Industry

Korea’s cultural industries are among the most dynamic in the world, and the film industry is no exception. While many people are aware of Korea’s success in international music charts or at international film festivals, very few realize that these results rely on industrial success that reflect systematic business efforts and a prudent film policy. Such an approach differs markedly from the protectionist film policies adopted by many countries, particularly in Europe.

The first presentation for this seminar will compare the Korean film industry and the industries of five critical countries – China, France, Japan, the UK, and the US. In presenting both robust and meaningful results, this comparison covers a long period – from 1980 to 2018. It shows that the Korean industry has first caught up, then outperformed its European counterparts in almost every dimension: more films produced, larger box office revenues, larger national audience for both US and domestic films, and less interventionist regulations. Last but not least, Korean films demonstrate better quality as expressed by both audiences' and critics' perspective.

The second part will present the unique balance between dynamic, risk-taking business strategies, and public policy in Korea. In particular, it will examine the effects of the elimination of protectionist measures such as import and screen quotas, and the limited use of subsidies. All these aspects are in sharp contrast with European countries. This presentation will conclude by raising key issues for discussion with the audience related to digitization and globalization.

Program (PDF)