S. Korea, China inks pact on joint filmmaking

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea initialed an accord on Monday with China on cooperation in joint filmmaking that could help facilitate Korean movies' inroads into the world's fastest growing market, officials said.

Under the agreement, films officially recognized as co-products of the two countries would benefit from policies in both countries to protect homegrown films, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a statement.

The tentative accord was signed here between working-level officials of ministries in charge of cultural affairs, but the formal agreement will be signed by culture ministers of the countries within this year after undergoing a domestic process to get approval in each country, according to the ministry.

"When the final agreement is signed, it would pave the way for Korean films' advance to the Chinese movie market," the statement said. "It will also facilitate movie co-production as well as cooperation in the field of special effects technology and exchanges of filmmaking staff."

China is considered the world's fastest-growing movie industry. A total 893 movies were produced in 2012 and seen by an audience of 470 million on more than 14,000 movie screens nationwide.

If a film is recognized as a co-product of the two countries, the status will give it a shield from China's quota system for strictly limiting imported films, as it will be classified as a Chinese film in the country.

In South Korea, the same film will be classified as a Korean film, allowing it to benefit from government policies that protect homegrown films, according to officials.

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