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More Korean film productions join multinational projects

This photo provided by Showbox shows Thai director Banjong Pisanthanakun of
This photo provided by Showbox shows Thai director Banjong Pisanthanakun of "The Medium." (Showbox)
More and more South Korean film producers and investors have been participating in multinational film projects in recent years, backed by the country's reputation as a rising powerhouse in the global cinema scene.

The upcoming horror film "The Medium" is a collaboration of South Korea and Thailand, drawing attention for the teamwork of horror masters of the two countries -- Na Hong-jin of "The Wailing" (2016) and Banjong Pisanthanakun of "Shutter" (2004).

Na, who wrote the original story of the show, led the Korean-Thai project as a producer, along with Korean production studio Northern Cross and distributor Showbox.

He asked Pisanthanakun to take the helm of the movie in Thailand, with local cast members including actors Narilya Gulmongkolpech and Sawanee Utoomma.

CJ ENM, the entertainment unit of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, is producing the drama film "Broker" (working title), which is now in post production, with Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda.

It is the first time that the Japanese director, who won Cannes' Palme d'Or for "Shoplifters" in 2018, has taken the helm of a Korean-language project financed and produced by Korean firms.

Many Korean silver screen actors, including Song Kang-ho, Kang Dong-won and Bae Doo-na, star in the film.

In addition, Kazakh-Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov participated in the production of the Korean romantic comedy "Longdi" by Korean studio 12 Journey.

Bekmambetov has directed and produced a number of hit movies, including the action thriller "Wanted" (2008) and the mystery thriller "Searching" (2018).

It is not new for Korean filmmakers, especially prominent directors, to participate in big-budget film projects led by American and British film studios.

Cannes-winning Bong Joon-ho directed the adventure movie "Okja" (2017), which was produced by Plan B Entertainment in the United States and presented by Netflix.

Star director Kim Jee-woon made his US debut with the action thriller "The Last Stand" (2013) after getting a call from Hollywood. Kim gained worldwide recognition after the actioner "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" (2008) and the thriller "I Saw the Devil" (2010).

But in recent years, an increasing number of Korean filmmakers are playing a leading role in developing and producing film projects, recruiting foreign directors and actors.

Korean cinema has entered its heyday and has drawn global attention for recent cinematic achievements, like the Oscar and Palme d'Or winning "Parasite" and Youn Yuh-jung of "Minari," who became the first South Korean to win an acting Oscar. (Yonhap)