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#SaveOurCinema rallies support for indie films

Actress Choi Hui-seo participates in the #SaveOurCinema campaign. (Choi’s Instagram account)
Actress Choi Hui-seo participates in the #SaveOurCinema campaign. (Choi’s Instagram account)

While the global box office continues to suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic, stars in Korea are taking part in the #SaveOurCinema campaign to arouse the public’s interest in indie, arthouse films.

Though the entire film industry is struggling, the government’s policies aimed at supporting the industry are more focused on multiplex operators as indie, arthouse cinemas have a comparatively smaller market share.

To support the low-budget film scene, film figures who got their start in indie films are participating in the campaign rallying support for indie films.

Actress Choi Hee-seo, also known as Moon Choi, took part in the campaign on May 12, updating a post on her social media account. “Small, precious cinemas around the world are facing closure as theatergoers refrain from visiting cinemas in fear of the COVID-19,” she wrote.

“Indie, arthouse cinemas in Korea are not an exception. Please support films, cinemas which are our love and pride,” she wrote.

Choi then nominated Lee Je-hoon, who starred in the 2017 film “Anarchist from Colony” with her.

Lee, a well-recognized actor who recently starred in “Time to Hunt” released on Netflix, wrote on his social media account on May 13, “Indie films are a guide that allow us to have a wider perspective toward life and encourage us to think more.”

Lee was followed by actress Han Ye-ri. Actors Kim Hye-soo, Shin Min-a, directors Byun Young-ju, Kim Bo-ra and many more have participated in the campaign.

While posting comments on social media, the participants also recommended three to four indie or arthouse films, asking more people to have interest in the low-budget film scene.

As of Monday, more than 1,000 postings had been updated on social networking service Instagram with “#SaveOurCinema.”

Meanwhile, indie film “Beyond That Mountain,” which portrays the early life of the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, Korea’s first Roman Catholic cardinal, has been setting a record with ticket sales of 100,477 as of Monday, according to KOBIS, the Korean Film Council’s box-office tracking service.

The film, opened on April 30, shows Kim's younger days as a 7-year-old boy.

By Im Eun-byel (