Hanryu Wave to Hit a New High with Korea-Singapore Partnership

Dated: 1 December 2005

MBC Production Co., Ltd, an affiliate company of Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation has signed a co-production deal with local company SweetRain Productions to co-produce a 26-part entertainment magazine programme set for global distribution.

MBC Production with their hit dramas like Jewel in the Palace (Dajunggeum), and My Lovely Samsoon, is one of the forerunners in spreading the Korean wave. Jewel in the Palace especially has clocked record TV ratings across Asia in countries such as Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Korean dramas and movies have been setting an unprecedented phenomenon, now known as the Korean wave, sweeping across all major Asian countries with distributions even going into the Middle East and South American countries in the likes of Brazil, Guatemala, and Chile.

Leveraging on the growing demand for Korean content and entertainment, this new programme, K-ZINE, will be amongst the first TV projects to package Asian content for distribution worldwide. The programme format will cover the latest Korean entertainment news, provide updates on upcoming Korean dramas and movies and will also feature exclusive interviews with the hottest Korean celebrities such as Bae Yong-Joon, Kwon Sang Woo and Lee Yeong Ae. This weekly distributed programme will be given its international flavour by having the host links done by Singapore-based VJs in different languages with corresponding subtitling. This will ensure that non-Korean fans of the hanryu wave can tap into the latest entertainment news and what their favourite stars are up to in a language most comprehensible to them.

SweetRain Productions was chosen as a partner for this collaboration due to its refreshing idea for the programme format, knowledge of the Korean entertainment scene, language proficiency, and affiliation with the top pan-Asian stars in the region as well as an understanding of and exposure to the global market.

“Singapore represents a melting pot of various cultures and languages. We are confident that the pan Asian talents available in the country will be able to helm the programme to its best potential and help to promote the latest Korean entertainment news more effectively to all of the foreign hanryu fans out there, ” said MBC Production CEO, Mr. Park Jong.

SweetRain Productions Director , Mr. Charles Kim, a Singapore PR of Korean descent said, “This is a very exciting time for Korea and we are glad to be part of the equation to help promote Korean content to the rest of the world. Singapore’s content creation and production capabilities, expertise in language translations, the migration of foreign talents from all parts of the world into our island state, and the quality of post production available here has made us one of the most ideal bases for international co-productions. We hope that K-ZINE will open the channel for more collaborations to come.”

The first two versions of the programme will be fronted by former Channel (V) VJ Simone Heng in English and former MTV VJ turned Actress/Host Belinda Lee in its Chinese version. VJ hunt will be ongoing for fresh faces to join the team in its offering of the programme in other languages.

The partnership between SweetRain Productions and MBC Production, with the support of the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), will see new milestones being achieved on the co-productions front between Korea and Singapore.

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA said, “Following the signing of the MOU between Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC) and the MDA in January this year, this project is the first concrete demonstration of cooperation between companies from the two countries. I am delighted that a home-grown production company, SweetRain Productions, is able to engage in co-production with an established global partner like MBC Production, the production arm of Korea's leading terrestrial broadcaster.

“This collaboration with MBC Production is clearly an endorsement and recognition of Singapore’s media industry, with its unique Asian roots and cosmopolitan outlook, to tell and create stories for the global audience. In fact with the increase in demand for Asian content internationally, I see this as the beginning of more partnerships with our Korean counterparts,” Dr Chia added.

About SweetRain Productions Sweet Rain Productions specializes in conceptualisation and production of TV concepts for the international market, packaging of Asian content for sales to a global audience and regional/ international TV content distribution. It is also the sister company to Tinsel Management (www.tinsel-mgnt.com) which represents top Asian artistes in the likes of MTV VJ Utt, Denise Keller and supermodel-actress Jaymee Ong.

About MBC Production Co. Ltd MBC Production Co., Ltd is the affiliate company of MBC, one of the largest and the most influential television network with 45 years of history in Korea. The production arm, inaugurated in January 1991 has churned out many drama hits including the regional ratings killer Jewel in the Palace (Dae-jang-geum), chart toppers like Phoenix (Bool-Sae), Legendary Police Woman Damo and My Lovely Sam Soon.

Media Contact
Melissa Lam
SweetRain Productions
Mobile: +65 9067 1708
Email: mel@sweetrainproductions.com

Media Development Authority of Singapore
Ms Casey Chang
Assistant Director
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: 6837 9344
Email: casey_chang@imda.gov.sg

Ms Yvonne Poh
Assistant Manager
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: 6837 9894
Email: yvonne_poh@imda.gov.sg