The 2013 Hallyu Forum was held at the Manila Hotel yesterday and the topic for this year is all about the New Wave of Cinema: Connections, Convergence, and Cooperation.
There’s no doubt that the Hallyu, or Korean wave has had a big impact, not just regional, but globally. Everything Hallyu is being copied, appreciated and idolized. From its kimchi to kpop, from their fashion down to saying “Annyeonghaseyo”.
But the biggest influence is by far, their films. As the panel of speakers compared and discussed Philippine cinema and Korean films, there’s no denying that the two are so different in many levels.
The first session dealt with the history of Philippine Independent films. There was an in-depth analysis on how Indie films before were considered old school, and how the newer breeds have become commercialized, that one would think if they could still be considered as “Indie”?
Korean resource persons were second to speak as they explained to the guests how South Korea develops and promotes its film industry globally.
It was something to ponder on that their government doesn’t only subsidize its local films, but also foreign film makers as well.
The Korean government, through its many agencies, like KOFICE and Busan IFF were created to promote Korean films. We all know that the Busan International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious movie award giving bodies that even Hollywood is trying to penetrate.
Mr. Jonathan Kim, Chairman of Hanmac Cultural Corporation and a film producer, explained to the audience that in South Korea, they have a ceiling number of days that all cinemas should follow in showing locally-made films. Something that we should seriously think about, considering the influx of foreign films that there are days when you enter a movie house and 5 out of its 6 theaters, they’re showing foreign movies.
One poignant topic that was discussed in the whole day’s event was that if Philippines could create a feat like a “Philippine wave”? Mr. Kim was very passionate as he explained his point that we should fight for it.
A Philippine wave is a reflection of its culture and the government should protect that, and if they’re not we should fight for it.
The South Korean people fought for it, they had to lobby with foreign film makers that there should be a ratio between foreign produced films and their local films. Also, Filipino producers are being cheated if they are paying additional taxes when foreign companies don’t.
However, discussing all these numbers boils down to one thing, that the peso’s purchasing power is not as strong as some of its Asian counter-parts. A middle-class Filipino with a minimum wage salary will opt to watch a highly, well-produced foreign movie rather than something locally made with its artists you often see on television for free if both films are priced the same in cinemas.
The Korean Film Festival ’13 will kick off its celebration by screening for free in selected cinemas some of South Korea’s latest movies.
The 2013 Hallyu Forum was presented by the Korean Cultural Center and Embassy of the Republic of Korea in cooperation with KOFICE, Korea Tourism Organization MCST and Film Development Council of the Philippines.