Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ambassador Lee urges Philippine-Korean collaboration in films, dramas

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
With the popularity of Korean dramas in the Philippines and the active participation of Filipinos in film festivals in South Korea, a collaboration between the two countries is possible.
South Korea’s Ambassador Hyuk Lee (center) with (from left) Prof. Patrick Campos, Prof. Roland Tolentino, Tito Valiente and Director Seong-un Hwang at the 2013 Hallyu Forum. (Photo by Jonathan Hicap)

“I believe it is high time we seriously consider the collaboration among our actors, directors, writers,” said Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Hyuk Lee at the opening of the 2013 Hallyu Forum held on Sept. 17 at the Pandanggo Hall of the Manila Hotel.
The Hallyu Forum, organized by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, focused on the Philippine and Korean film industries under the theme “The New Wave of Cinema: Connections, Convergence and Cooperation.”
Noted filmmakers and experts tackled different aspects of the film industries in the two countries.
From the Philippines, the panelists were Prof. Patrick Campos of the UP Film Institute; Prof. Roland Tolentino, dean of the UP Diliman College of Mass Communications; Tito Valiente, chairman of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino; director, writer and producer Pepe Diokno; Prof. Jonathan Libut of the University of Sto. Tomas; director and producer Ato Bautista; Isabel de Leon, Lifestyle Editor of the Manila Bulletin; writer and director Jade Castro; and Prof. Jag Garcia of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
Korean panelists were Prof. Kyung-min Bae, lecturer of Korean Language at UP Diliman; Jiyin Park, senior researcher at the Korean Film Council (KOFIC); Tae-sun Jung, general manager of CJ Entertainment Vietnam; producer Jonathan Kim, chairman of the Hanmac Cultural Corp. and Director Seong-un Hwang of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, who gave the synthesis and closing remarks.
Ambassador Lee said the Hallyu Forum was aimed at “enriching relations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea via support for the arts.”
He said he was pleased to know that Korean dramas and K-pop are very popular in the Philippines.
“I am delighted to learn in my first year here as ambassador that Korean films, soap operas or what has come to be known as Koreanovelas, and K-pop are very popular among Filipinos,” he said.
Lee announced that the Korean government has relaxed its visa rules so that more Filipinos can visit South Korea and enjoy the Korean Wave, or Hallyu.
“It symbolizes the vibrancy, creativeness and dynamism of modern Korea. Korean drama and movies, more specifically, reflect values and emotions shared by people from all walks of life,” he said.
He added that a collaboration among Korean and Filipino actors, directors and writers will be beneficial.
“As two peoples with a rich cultural heritage and high inclination for the arts, our artists can make new and attractive things, which will promote our countries regionally and globally. Let us take great advantage of this opportunity and capitalize on the talent and inventiveness of our artists. This way, we can further spread the charm and beauty of our nations, develop our culture, and create a common community of friendship and harmony,” he explained.
For his part, Counsellor Hwang said Hallyu is not only about K-pop and Koreanovelas but also Korean food and language.
He said Filipino and Korean films have been shown in different film festivals around the world including the Busan International Film Festival.
“This showcase of films, arguably one of the most popular forms of art and entertainment, has provided the world a window to the cultures of each nation. Further afield, I hope that our interactions in arts will not only be limited on the foreign turfs of film festivals, but will also extend within,” he said.
He added that the KCC Philippines was established to further strengthen relations between South Korea and the Philippines.
“As a cultural center, we envision that the Hallyu Forum, together with the Korean Film Festival and many other initiatives, will open the gateways for deeper, and much more rooted dialogues,” he said.
The 2013 Hallyu Forum was also organized to promote the 2013 Korean Film Festival, which will run in the country from Sept. 18 to Oct. 13.

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