Korea & New Zealand Will Cooperate in Film IndustryOctober 13, 2008 at 10:45 am | Posted in Movies, Television | 1 Comment
Five Korean films ― “Bungee Jumping of Their Own,” “Old Boy,” “Silmido,” “Antarctic Journal” and “It’s Okay As I Love You?” ― have one thing in common: They have made contributions to the Korea-New Zealand relationship.
Besides the films, many Korean soap operas and commercials have also been filmed in New Zealand whose exotic, preserved nature has appealed to many international filmmakers.
The new area of cooperation is drawing immense interest from both sides, producing several agreements on the private and public levels.
The most recent, signed Oct. 1 between New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon was on film co-production. The signing took place on Oct. 1 during Yu’s visit there.
Clark said, “This accord will provide a further boost for filmmakers to advance those projects. I look forward to seeing the results on screen,” according to the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul.
The accord will offer financial assistance to joint film projects; recognizing them as what it calls “National films” and help promotion of the films.
New Zealand Ambassador to Korea Jane Coombs congratulated the agreement, hoping to see many Korea-New Zealand joint films.
It didn’t look usual to members of the Korea-New Zealand Association (KONZA), a private organization, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last Friday.
The association was established in 1968, six years after the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Conceived by Korean students sent to New Zealand under the Colombo Plan, the association has kept records of the lives of Korean immigrants, assisted new Korean immigrants and most recently, published a book, “A History of Koreans in New Zealand.”
The Colombo Plan was part of inter-governmental efforts to strengthen economic and social development of member countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Korea joined in 1962. The first Korean students educated and trained there contributed to Korean financial and agricultural development.
Chairman Park Young-in said, “Since the founding of our association, we tried to be involved in non-government social and cultural activities with great honor.” He also thanked the New Zealand Embassy for its support.
Ambassador Coombs said in reply, “the story of KONZA is a model of how government and people can work harmoniously for a common outcome, and how the ‘personal’ and the ‘official’ interact and underpin each other.”
Coombs has received a honorary award for her dedication in promoting Korea-New Zealand relations during a party to celebrate the anniversary at the Diplomatic Center in Seocho-dong, Seoul, Friday. She is leaving in December, after ending her three-year tenure.
Korea-New Zealand relations go back to the 1950-53 Korean War when New Zealand deployed 6,000 troops to fight in Korea. The two countries established formal relations in 1962, and the embassy in Seoul opened in 1971.
The initial relations, born of benevolence, have developed to see the countries become important trade partners. Nearly zero exchange of commodities in the 1960s has developed to reach $1.9 billion now.
Personnel exchanges have also increased. Now, around 120,000 Koreans and New Zealanders visit each other’s countries, according to Lee Kang-kook, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
New Zealand is now one of the most desirable tourist destinations, education places and immigration spots for Koreans.
Currently, nearly 30,000 Koreans reside there, while New Zealand’s presence in Korea is visible particularly in the field of education.
Source: Korea Times
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