23 January, 2015 | By Amanda Groom
Co-production links are being forged between Korea and the UK, says Amanda Groom

The stunning National Museum of Korea in Seoul was recently home to an event that signposted an exciting road ahead for UK indies.

The Republic of Korea / UK Creative Industries Forum was conceived last year during President Park Geun-hye’s state visit to the UK on the 130th Anniversary of diplomatic relations, with the purpose of enhancing the ties between the UK and Korea in the field of the creative industries.

This inaugural event last month brought together the leaders of several of the UK’s most pioneering companies across the creative landscape to identify co-production partnerships between the two nations.

As MD of The Bridge, where we act as a conduit between the English–speaking media sector and Asian producers and broadcasters to help access the benefits that the Far Eastern production world has to offer, it was clear to me that indies were energized by the event.

From the UK, the event was led by the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who was hosted by Jongdeok Kim, Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea.

Javid commented on the importance of Government supporting but not limiting or stifling creativity; that we are stronger together as the two nations, UK and Korea. BBC Worldwide chief executive Tim Davie spoke of the significant potential of global co production between the two nations, and of the need for the BBC and all broadcasters to recognise the big ideas that will benefit the global marketplace. These insights are supported by our experience at The Bridge.

The astounding display of next generation immersive virtual reality by Robin McNicholas, creative director of Lightfield, gave the audience a glimpse into all our futures; Oli Hyatt of UK Animation entertained by sharing his delight of the kindness of Korean families; and UKie chief executive Jo Twist shared her great enthusiasm of the enormity of the of e-sports potential in the UK market place.

The major thing to take from this event is that there is enormous potential for creative and financial benefit for UK broadcasters and indies in dealing with Korean broadcasters and co-production partners, and these opportunities are set to increase dramatically as 2015 gathers pace. For ambitious British producers, Korea is very much open for business.

Amanda Groom is managing director of The Bridge