South Korea, Estonia Sign Pact to Boost Film Industry Cooperation

The heads of two local movie organizations signed a memorandum of understanding designed to strengthen and support international collaborations.

SEOUL -- South Korea and Estonia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen film industry cooperation, marking the first agreement of its kind between the Asian country and a Northern/Eastern European region.

Kim In-soo, head of Korean Film Council (KOFIC), and Edith Sepp, director of Estonian Film Institute, inked the pact on Wednesday, during the 17th Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn. The MOU aims to strengthen and support international collaborations between the two countries and also acknowledges two ongoing co-production projects.

Moreover, the contract comes ahead of the European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture's meeting with high officials from EU member states, slated for Dec. 5 in Brussels. For the first time, the EU-Korea Cultural Cooperation Committee will take part in the summit, and Estonia's representative, Sepp, plans to share her experience working with Korea.

The contract marked the highlight of Industry@Tallinn, an industry event attended by members of the Busan International Film Festival, Producers Guild of Korea, sales agents and producers.

"The signing of the memorandum between Estonia and South Korea is not only signifying the importance of the Black Nights Film Festival and its position as an ongoing and important platform for Asian filmmakers to the region but also underlines the role of the event as a bridge between the larger film industries of Europe and South Korea," said Sten Saluveer, head of Industry@Tallinn.

Korea and Estonia's ties can be traced back to 2007, when the Black Nights Festival featured Korea as its focus country and delegates including Busan Film Festival founder Kim Dong-ho attended the event. The Korean film Castaway on the Moon also previously won the Audience Award at Black Nights.