Korean actor Song Kang-ho, fourth from left, and actress Ye Ji-won, fifth from left, pose after receiving awards from the French Embassy in South Korea during the French Night event held on the sidelines of the BIFF. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

French Embassy in Korea invites dignitaries for annual event

On the sidelines of the ongoing 27th Busan Intl Film Festival (BIFF), the Embassy of France hosted its annual “French Night” late last week at a Busan hotel.

The embassy invited French participants from Paris, local media, and BIFF-related officials, including its organizing committee chief Lee Yong-kwan.

Among a number of events and parties during the period of the yearly film festival, French Night has been receiving a spotlight from actors, actresses, and movie producers, according to the French Embassy.

It noted that the event had become a symbolic gathering of the BIFF.

Korean actor Song Kang-ho and actress Ye Ji-won received awards from the Embassy of France in recognition of their careers, which contributed to the development of the Korea-France movie industry by France Amb. Philip Lepporte.

His deputy was on hand to deliver the awards.

BIFF Executive Committee official Hur Moon-young received applause many times from French Night’s participants.

“There are three movie directors I love in the history of the movie. French movie director Jean Renoir said in his autobiography like this,” he said.

“I would like to be a citizen of movie media rather than a citizen of France. I would like to share his words with all movie industry-related persons who joined this evening.”

According to the Embassy of France, French cinema consists of the film industry and its production segment. It is the oldest and largest precursor of national cinemas in Europe.

In that regard, the French film industry deserves our efforts for benchmarking, BIFF officials said.

France continues to have a strong film industry due in part to protections afforded by the French government. In 2013, France was the second largest exporter of films in the world after the United States.

A study in April 2014 showed that French cinema maintains a positive influence around the world, being the most appreciated by global audiences after that of America.

France currently has the most successful film industry in Europe in terms of the number of films produced per annum. France is also one of the few countries where non-American productions have the biggest share.

This is largely due to the commercial strength of domestic productions. The French film industry is closer to being entirely self-sufficient than any other country in Europe, recovering around 80–90 percent of costs from revenues generated in the domestic market alone.

Separately from French Night, the Embassy of Mongolia also hosted the Mongolian Night event in Busan late last week to attract more investors into the Mongolian movie industry.

Yeo studied German in Seoul. He has worked as a journalist for the past 40 years. He has mostly covered diplomacy, foreign schools, regional festivals, culture and other areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.