By Phuong Lien Nguyen – 28675835
I suddenly saw a poster of Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) in a Korean chicken restaurant, one question raised in my mind why one film festival was promoted in a strange place. As a result, I decided to go to KOFFIA to find the answer to my question. KOFFIA is organized in 4 different cities in Australia, 22 movies are chosen from various category to screen at the festival (Koffia 2018). When I attend the festival, I feel that the film festival was organized to promote the Korean movie industry as well as the Korean culture. The audience can discover the music industry, the Korean cuisine and tourism, and their local value. After searching on the website, I find that this Korean restaurant is one of the sponsors of the film festival, so I just realize that how the film festival attracts the audience from the little things.
In the last two decades, the development of Korean Wave has considered as the production of transnational culture under globalization process. The economic growth, the spread of similar cultures across the countries and the development of digital communication technology have played an important feature in the rise of consumption of Korean media culture (Cho 2005). Particularly, the success of Korean popular music or K-pop has certainly contributed to the influence of local product to Western cultural market. From my point of view, this trend can be considered as the antithesis of the homogenizing force of cultural and media when the heterogenization emerges as the main characteristic of the phenomenal. K-Pop industry modifies the global content into local content and they distribute it on a global scale. This trend represents a regionalization of transnational cultural flows when global audience accepts the K-pop product, especially the acceptance of neighboring countries with the similar cultural background.
In the festival, I chose to watch “Stand by me” movie. I was impressed by the poster because I could see a heart-warming drama about a grandfather and his grandchildren. In less than 90 mins, the grandfather – who is never named in the film must take full responsibility for his grandchildren when his daughter-in-law runs away with his dead’s son life insurance. The old man does his best to maintain the daily life for 3 people, however, his grandchild still blames him. The major turning point in the movie appear when he will die soon because of the lung cancer, thus he must find a person who can raise his children. The film flows naturally, the director concentrates on the value of family with touching and well-meaning message. The movie touches my emotion through their delicate facial expressions and I don’t believe that this movie is the director’s debut feature.
I also impressed by the viewer’s review in the KOFFIA’s Facebook page. The organizers provide some short-interview clip to receive the audience’s feedback and opinion after watching the movie. They build a bridge to connect with an audience when the producer can engage and connect directly with their own audience. The festival is a communication platform to generate a unique value that delivers the powerful global impact resulted from the transnational cultural product.
Cho, H 2005, ‘Reading the Korean Wave as a sign of global shift’, Korean Journal, vol.45, no.4, pp.147-182.
Korean Film Festival in Australia 2018, http://koffia.com.au/film-line-up-2018/