After signing a tentative film co-production agreement last year, China and South Korea have signed a full film co-production treaty, according to Korean Film Council (KOFIC)’s official Weibo microblog. Under the treaty, eligible co-productions will be entitled to access benefits from both countries. China is now the second largest box office market in the world after US. The treaty will allow filmmakers in South Korea greater opportunities to get involved in this fast growing market. Maybe more importantly, they can bypass China’s foreign film import quota, which is currently limited to 34 films per year on a revenue share and the majority of them are Hollywood blockbusters. In the past five years, only an average of 1.4 South Korea films made theatrical release in China, very low among the imported titles (revenue share films). The co-production treaty expects to open another gate for South Korean producers to introduce their work to the Chinese market. For Chinese filmmakers on the other hand, they want to take the opportunity to learn from their South Korea counterparts, studying their filming techniques.
There are several Sino-Korean co-productions currently in production, including Once Again, 20s, Miss Granny and The Peaceful Island.
Earlier this year, China signed a film co-production treaty with the UK. It also has co-production treaties in place with other countries like Canada, Australia, Italy, and is in talks with India and Bulgaria. It seems China is to pursuing a structured international strategy to expand and promote their film industry, thanks to their rapid growing film market in the last decade.