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iW: Dispatch from Pusan

iW: Dispatch from Pusan

Brian Brooks at indieWIRE has published his first report from this year’s Pusan International Film Festival, Korea’s major film festival which also includes the Asian Film Market. By all accounts, Pusan organizers seem to have stepped it up this year. Korea’s film scene has recently witnessed a revolution of new talent, and the big question is determining how to maintain a hold as the trendsetters of Asian cinema. From the iW article:

Protecting “local voices” was the topic of a spirited discussion on keeping Hollywood at bay during a meeting of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity on Sunday afternoon. The panelists, representing a diverse cross-section of filmmakers, academics and film trade unionists from around the world, were clearly flustered and sometimes angry about the dominance of Hollywood. Mexico’s Alfredo Guerda even likened the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the subsequent decline of his country’s local film industry to the realization of “Manifest Destiny” in the 19th century.

“NAFTA has been the second conquest of Mexico,” he said in English. “[The treaty] destroyed an industry that took six decades to build in only a few years.” Korean members of the panel said they hoped to persuade the government to continue protecting the local industry as it negotiates with the United States on trade, though the U.S.’s Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is pressuring the American government to include Hollywood on any free trade agreement.

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