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2 Korean films destined for U.S. theaters

Posted October. 31, 2000 15:22,   


For the first time in the history of the Korean movie industry, two movies -- "Nowhere To Turn" by director Lee Myung-Sea and "The Story of Spring Fragrance" by director Im Kwon-Taek -- are poised to be screened in theaters throughout the United States late this year and early next.

"The movie will be distributed by Lions Gate International Films, which boasts a nationwide distribution network, and will be screened in phases starting with New York and Los Angeles in December before going nationwide," Lee, who is currently in New York, said.

Although Korean movies have been aired for Korean-Americans as the sole target audience, it is the first time for a Korean film to target the mass audience throughout the nation.

"Nowhere To Turn" is the first Korean movie to be met with acclaim at the U.S. Sundance Movie Festival, which was followed by special reviews by New York Times and International Herald Tribune.

"The Story of Spring Fragrance" is set to screen at the Angelica Film Center of the New York Arts Theater on Jan. 1, 2001, prior to nationwide screening. The distributor for the movie will be the LOT47 Film.

LOT47 Film, along with preparation for the movie's screening, has selected the movie to have a chance at the next year's Academy Awards for best foreign film. For the nomination in the field of best foreign film, the movie needs to obtain the recommendation by a U.S. distributor, as well as production company and producer. In addition, the movie must have screened for more than one week in the United States.

Although in the past, Korean movies have been suggested as possible nominees through the Film Promotion Committee's recommendation of one film from each of the nations, this will be the first formal exhibition through a U.S. distributor. So far, there has not been a Korean film that has garnered one of the five nomination spots for the best foreign film Academy Award.

"The Story of Spring Fragrance" also is set to open in five or six theaters in Paris on Nov. 22 and will be aired throughout France afterward. Also, the film will open in theaters in Japan in mid-December.

Kwon Chae-Hyun confetti@donga.com