Call it epic or the social movies; South Korea is one country that takes priority in the export of its culture to the world. And they do that with support from the government and the people. Some of the biggest entertainment companies like SM (Town) Entertainment sponsors lots of educational movies which are exported all over the world and Nigeria in particular.
A visit to South Korea shows how lovely and creative the nation is and how they place priority to youth development, especially in the area of entertainment. Lots of Korean youths are crazy about entertainment, just like their Nigerian counterparts. That was why during the last K-Pop dance competition held in Abuja, the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Noh Kyu-Duk stated that Nigeria and Korea have similar culture specifically pointing to the youths who he said are the strength of both nations. He also emphasized that the love for entertainment is what has contributed in spreading the growth of its nation.
Also In an exclusive interview with a top Korean movie director, Kim Hak-soon, in Seoul, South Korea, whose movie, Northern Limit, debuted at No.1 in the South Korean Box Office, he revealed that Korean movie industry cannot be compared to when he started off.
According to him, he started developing interest in the movie industry back in 1985 and since then, there has been lots of growth and development in the industry. He explained that young talents in the industry just try to establish new system. Since then, they have continued to witness dramatic and astonishing changes; changes that have seen Korean movies being awarded in the international film festivals.
"We are having the Korean blockbuster which means we have like more than 10 million audiences which is a great number compared to the total population of our country. Prior to then, not everybody loved Korean movies, but after these kinds of changes, more people try to watch the Korean movies because they found them interesting and very funny. These days, more than 50 per cent of our viewers try to choose Korean movies because they are getting to love the scripts. Behind these changes, there have been huge investments because between the 1980-1990s, we didn't know how many people were watching the movies, so the Korean Movie promotional committee did a computing system which helped to show how many people were watching a particular movie and based on that number, the investment companies started making huge investment to see how the movies could be successful and at the same time, profitable." He explained while adding that "I think all these things culminated into a huge stepping stone for the success of the movie industry. So the investment from the large companies has played a key role. Back then, there was just a movie theatre standing alone but now, we have adopted multiplex system, which means a cinema has different screens so people could choose whatever they like. These two things have changed the scene of the entire Korean movie industry. I told you that the Korean people started loving the movies because the script had changed, the story is no more in clichés, the stories and scenarios about a movie are very attractive and also the movie shooting technology has developed a lot. Very speedy and sophisticated technologies just like the one Hollywood are adapting are now being used and these things have played a great role." He pointed out.
Movies like Jewel In The Palace, Hi! School: Love, Empress Ki, Dung Yi, Jumong, The Admiral,vHow To Steal A Dog, Cyrano Dating Agency, A Case Of Itaewon Homicide, Meet The Inlwas, Big Bang, Narrow Ultimate Weapon, The Tabloid Truth, Diffractive K: Secret Of The Lost Island, Flower In Prison, Royal Gambler, Jewel In The Palace and many others has caught the attention of many fans in Nigeria.
Olalekan Kadir is an ardent fan of Korean entertainment. In an interview with him during one of the movie screening in Abuja, he said his love for the Korean entertainment dated back when he started watching Korean series like Jumong. 'I am always keen on watching these movies because the scripts are well written. I'm watching one now titled Empress Ki and I am always glued to it because it is very interesting and the suspense is amazing,' he said.
Some of the top entertainment companies in Korea responsible for churning out these great actors and movies.
SM Entertainment: operates as a record label, talent agency, travel agency, film Production Company, music Production Company, event management and concert production firm as well as a music publishing house. They are the #1 K-Pop Entertainment Company in Korea based on sales as well as talent.
YG Entertainment: operates as a record label, talent agency, fashion clothing line, cosmetics firm, event management and concert production company, music production company, and music publishing house. As far as running a business, YG is considered the best in the business.
JYP Entertainment: Operates as a record label, talent agency, music Production Company, event management and concert Production Company as well as a music publishing house. They have offices in outside of Korea, for example they have headquarters in New York and Beijing. In 2009 they launched Wonder Girls who became international sensations.
FNC Entertainment: Started off as just a company that managed musicians. However in 2012 they have broadened their business field and currently they operate as a record label, music production company, talent agency, and music distribution company. They also manage actors and actresses for film and television. They manage the most famous variety show comedian named Yoo Jae Suk.
Starship Entertainment: Operates as a record music label. The label was founded in 2013 and is by far the youngest Entertainment in Korea which goes to show how successful they have become in such a short time.
By Anthony Ada Abraham