The festival staged by the Korean Cultural Centre in Abuja was in continuation of its celebrations of 30 years of diplomatic ties with Nigeria. Five Korean films were featured in the festival that ran from Monday, 16th to Friday 20th August at the Silverbird Cinemas, Abuja.
Speaking at the opening, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Park Young-Kuk said apart from strengthening cultural ties with Nigeria, the festival will afford Nigerians an opportunity to compare Korean films with Nollywood products.
“I hope many Nigerians will be able to enjoy the films during the Korea Film Festival and compare them with Nollywood movies. Taking it a step further, it is also hoped that we will find potential for cooperation in the film industry of our two countries,” he said.
The Korean film industry is relatively young, having evolve at about the same time as Nollywood but it has developed at a rapid rate. The movie industry in that country is called Hallyuwod, as the ambassador explained, which translates as “Korean Wave” which he says is popular in Asia.
It was a week of laughter, drama, action and pathos as the five films showcased carried the audience through various emotions. They were well made and showed glimpses of Korea and it peculiarities; the intense national pride, the poverty, cultural rebirth and the marriage of modernity and a deep rooted history of which generations of Koreans will be proud. The movies were exciting as the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre, Mr. Suh Jeong Suh said they will be.
In his speech at the opening, he offered to partner Nollywood in making better movies and promised to hold the event annually.
“Korean Cultural Centre Nigeria will be organizing film festival every year and will promote Korean films in Nigeria through the Abuja International film festival,” he said.
Looking at the qualities of films showcased, Nollywood should jump at the opportunity. This, Fidelis Duker, Director of Abuja International Film Festival, said the industry is seriously considering. He said they are looking at modalities of exhibiting Nigerian films in Korea.
The festival opened and closed with a banquet and a lucky dip with lucky winners carting off branded gift items. In between, audiences were treated to five Korean films touching on sports, action, history and one based on food and culture – all of them thrilling.