South Korea, China Sign Landmark Co-Production Pact

Xi Jinping

Co-productions will now be treated as local films rather than imports, avoiding China's quota of 34 films a year on a revenue-share basis.

South Korea and China have signed a groundbreaking pact to expand cooperation in joint film production, which will help Korean filmmakers gain greater access to the Chinese market.

The pact formalizes a deal reached last month after negotiations between officials from Seoul and Beijing. Under the terms of the pact, co-productions will be treated as local films rather than more heavily regulated imports and therefore will not come under China's quota of 34 films a year on a revenue-share basis.

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Korea-China joint projects will 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.

The landmark pact was signed in Seoul by South Korea's Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong and his Chinese counterpart Cai Fuchao, director of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The signing came after a summit between South Korean president Park Geun-hye and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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Under the agreement, jointly produced movies will be officially classified as both South Korean and Chinese films, Seoul's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

"South Korea-China co-productions, once recognized as China's homegrown films, can bypass China's limitations on foreign movie imports, so the pact would facilitate the South Korean film industry's advance into the Chinese film market," the ministry said in a statement.

"It would also boost cooperation for special effects technologies and exchanges of film industry people," it said.