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KOREAN FILM FIESTA DAZZLES LAGOSIANS

By NBF News

Speaking about technology and economy, Korea ranks among the super powers in the world. The country hopes that the success story recorded in other facets would soon echo in the entertainment industry, particularly movies.

The second Korea Film Festival in Nigeria held recently in Lagos, with a refreshing experience for the Nigerian movie lovers who thronged the venue for four days, to interact with their counterparts from Asia, China and India.

Sponsored by the Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria, and LG Electronics, the film festival was shifted to Lagos this year, unlike last year, when it was held in Abuja. According to Suh Jeon Sun, the Director of Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria, the choice of Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, The Palms Shopping Centre, Lekki, Lagos, was due to the significance of Lagos as the entertainment and commercial capital of Nigeria.

Before the screening proper, lucky dips were organized by the organizers, and the audience was rewarded with a variety of prizes from the Korean electronic giant, LG. after which buffet was served to all.

Applauding Korean cultural innovations, Mr. Arnold Udoka, who stood in for Mr. Martin Adaji, Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, said the Koreans have used, among others, their phones to initiate cultural export.

The director of the Korean Cultural Centre also drew attention to Hallyuwood, Korea's version of American Hollywood or Indian Bollywood. Translated to English, Hallyuwood means 'Korean Waves'. Hallywood, according to Jeon Sun, aimed at increasing Korean pop culture, including TV drama, films and music. 'This phenomenon began in the late 1990s and is still growing and spreading worldwide, including the Middle East and South America,' he said.

Korean films have benefited tremendously from the emergence of youthful, talented film directors, as well as the liberalization of the market, leading Hallyuwood to occupy a large percentage of the Korean domestic market and ever-increasing export.

Already, some Korean soaps have been introduced to the Nigerian screen. TV dramas, such as Jewel in the Palace, The Painter of the Wind and Winter Sonata, have been aired on AIT and NTA. At the moment, My Lovely Sam-soon is running on NTA.

The finesse and passion the Koreans have brought to bear on their films is not in doubt. Last September during the Abuja Film Festival, a Korean film entitled An Uninvited Guest won the Best Feature Film Foreign and Golden Jury awards. Also, Mr. Hwang Seon Hwan and Ms Shin Yi won the best outstanding male and female act awards respectively for their roles in the movie An Uninvited Guest.

In the course of the Second Korean Film Festival in Lagos, five films were beamed on a giant screen, including Take Off, Barefoot Dream, Hwang Jin-Yi, Speedy Scandal and Le Grand Chef. While the first and second films are sports movies, the third and fourth films showcase traditional and modern society, while the fifth film portrays the rich Korean food culture.

The sports movies shown at the festival exemplify the resilience of the Korean spirit -a resilience aimed at excelling at whatever enterprise embarked on, despite the odds. Thus, both films will be screened in the celebration of the Winter 2012 Olympics in Pyeonchang, which Korea won the hosting rights.

Margaret Segun, one of the teeming Nigerians, who watched the film told Daily Sun on the first day: 'I have enjoyed myself. I have never watched any Korean film before now, but I am impressed with what I saw today.'