China, South Korea Plan Co-Production Treaty

The pact is expected to help Korean filmmakers gain greater access to the Chinese market, as co-productions will be treated as local films rather than more heavily regulated imports.

SEOUL – Hours after South Korean entertainment giant CJ E&M's announced plans Monday to embark on the largest ever Korea-China co-production with the China Film Group, the two Asian countries signed a tentative co-production treaty the same afternoon.

Officials of ministries in charge of cultural affairs from each nation inked a tentative accord that would recognize Korea-China co-productions as homegrown movies in both countries, thus ensuring that they will benefit from respective local policies for protecting domestic works, according to the Korean culture ministry.

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This would mean that Korea-China joint projects would be excluded from China's film-import quota and receive a larger share of the local box office, while in Korea they will enjoy the advantages of a screen quota that guarantees local titles a chance to be shown in theaters.

A formal agreement will be signed by the culture ministers of the two countries within the year.

“When the final agreement is signed, it is expected to pave the way for Korean films to advance into the Chinese movie market, which is the fastest growing in the world,” the Korean culture ministry said in a statement. “It will also facilitate film co-productions as well as cooperation in the visual effects sector and international opportunities for filmmaking staff."