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New Zealand meets South Korea: Strategies for film co-productions between two countries

This study investigates the state of international film co-productions between New Zealand and South Korea and whether such co-productions are possible, and if so, which modes or types of film co-productions are likely to succeed. The study is framed in the context of the two countries as well as the rapidly changing global marketplace. Increasingly, international film co-productions have gained importance in the film industry paralleling a growing tendency towards cross-border filmmaking. However, the phenomenon of international film co-productions, specifically between New Zealand and South Korea, has not been fully investigated to date. A review of existing approaches to international film co-productions did not provide a sufficiently comprehensive theoretical framework for this study. It therefore draws on four different approaches: political economy, social exchange theory (the reciprocal exchange model), Cultural Studies (focusing on cultural proximity and discount), and transnational approaches. Post-positivism provides a theoretical research perspective and the research method employed was a mixed-methods. The secondary data was analysed and discussed for the two governments’ film policies and their impact on the co-productions of these two countries. Extensive in-depth interviews with key respondents point five influential factors (political, economic, personal, cultural and industrial) for New Zealand-South Korean film co-productions. A case study of The Warrior’s Way (2010) was undertaken in order to examine how these five factors have practically impacted on one example of international film co-production. This study proposes a conceptual framework drawing upon four approaches to explore multi-layered and multifaceted international film co-productions, and each approach in the framework has made its own contributions to film studies in the academic literature. The findings of this thesis show that it has been difficult for official productions between these countries to happen despite the film agreement between them. Consequently, it is suggested that the option of undertaking unofficial film co-productions is a better one. Three modes for unofficial productions, particularly addressed to those South Korean filmmakers who desire to make New Zealand-South Korean co-productions are suggested.
Type of thesis
Kim, J. (2017). New Zealand meets South Korea: Strategies for film co-productions between two countries (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10943
University of Waikato
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