BUSAN, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Entertainment companies from South Korea and China launched a Beijing-based joint venture and unveiled their first projects on Monday.
South Korea’s leading film investor-distributor Next Entertainment World (NEW) and China’s Huace Media Group announced the creation of “Huace & NEW” in a ceremony at a Busan hotel on the sidelines of the Busan International Film Festival.’
The venture firm announced “The Witch,” “Beauty Inside and “The Phone” as their first three projects at the ceremony as well.
The board will consist of Kim Woo-taek, chief executive officer of NEW; Jang Kyung-ik, NEW president in charge of cinema business; Fu Bin Xing, vice president of Huace Group; and Yoo Young-ho, president of Huace Union.
Kim Hyeong-cheol, director of NEW’s Korean film division, and John Chiew, director of Huace Pictures’ international business, will operate as CEOs.
“This will serve as a foundation for mustering know-how and the wisdom of the two companies, present the best content in the fast-growing Chinese market, and promote the diversity of cultural industries of Asia and elsewhere in the world,” Kim said in his speech at the ceremony.
“The establishment of Huace & NEW is also meaningful to Huace Group as an important step in its globalization strategy,” Fu said in a video message. “Huace & New will produce good works, combining resources and facilitating cooperation among creative artists.”
Last October, China’s No. 2 entertainment group became NEW’s second largest shareholder by purchasing 15 percent of new stocks worth 53.5 billion won (US$45.3 million).
The two sides plan to produce two different films tailored to audiences’ tastes in each country from the same source material, escaping from the current method of simply producing Chinese remakes of Korean films.
“The Witch,” a film based on Kang Full’s hit webtoon series, is the first time intellectual property has been acquired from the beginning with the intent of making two films for two different territories in mind, NEW said.
They will be directed by Kim Dae-woo, known for “The Servant” (2010) and “Obsessed” (2014), in South Korea and Leste Chen of “20, Once Again!,” the Chinese-language remake of hit Korean film “Miss Granny” in China.
“20, Once Again!” saw big success in China last year, becoming the first South Korean-Chinese co-production to surpass 10 million in attendance.
Yoo said the Chinese-language version of “The Witch” will likely be out in the first half of next year.
“We will make it a super-hit film far more successful than ‘A Wedding Invitation’ or ’20, Once Again!’,” he said.