South Korea: culture minister nominee vows to support small and medium-sized film producers


The culture minister nominee said Tuesday he will actively reflect the positions of small and medium-sized producers in mapping out the government’s film policy. Park Yang-woo, who was tapped to lead the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in a Cabinet reshuffle in early March, also promised efforts to strengthen cultural exchanges with North Korea during his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly. “I’ll strive to sufficiently reflect the rights and positions of small and medium-sized film producers (in government policy). I’ll enforce policies to ensure a balanced development of the movie ecosystem, including production, investment and distribution,” Park said.


Park, a culture policy veteran with 30 years of experience in the field, has been leading a government committee in charge of reforming the culture ministry since 2017 and advised President Moon Jae-in on cultural issues during his presidential campaign. But a group of local cinema industry people has opposed Park’s nomination, citing his experience of serving as an outside director of CJ ENM, an entertainment and mass media giant owned by CJ Group. At the parliamentary hearing, Park was grilled by lawmakers about his criticized role of defending the position of a monopolistic company, like CJ ENM, but explained that he just gave advice to the CJ company as an outside director.


On the issue of screen monopolies, the nominee said: “I will ruminate on the issue because it is related to the diversity of our films and the rights of small and medium-sized producers. It is very important to guarantee the rights of movie staff. “What is more important is how we will develop our film industry in the face of global film platforms and distributors. I’ll listen to the various opinions of the film sector to make the Korean film industry grow.” Park also pledged to make efforts to boost cultural and sports exchanges with North Korea to help establish peace on the Korean Peninsula. “I’ll push to strengthen inter-Korean cultural exchanges so that peace can be firmly settled on the Korean Peninsula. I’ll continuously expand inter-Korean cooperation in the sports field, such as fielding joint teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said. The nominee said he will strive for qualitative growth of the nation’s tourism sector and to capitalize on peace tourism programs, including sightseeing of the Demilitarized Zone, in anticipation of an era of 20 million foreign tourists a year.




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