Poor Connectivity Getting In The Way Of Collaborations With Africa
It said that poor accessibility is the reason for its lack of broadcast content on African matters.
Chang Min Soo, the Manager of the Department of External Affairs, of the biggest independent public education broadcast service in Korea, said that although the service has met several times with African companies that are interested in collaborating, EBS has hesitated due to the extreme cost required to achieve the proper high-quality interconnection.
Besides the issue of accessibility, there is the enormous cost of co-productions which can total up to millions of dollars.
Chinese television producer, Jae-Eung Jeong said that co-productions would not be possible without the investment of a local production partner who is indigenous to the area.
Jeong said that it producers often make several trips to partner countries before production to discuss funding, concept and storyline.
He did add, however, that co-production has its rewards, and also has the potentials to employ large numbers of locals from the involved countries as extras on set.
Jeong described Africa as rich in diverse cultures and natural resources. He reiterated that EBS was very interested in exploring many projects showcasing nature, history, environment, science and culture with the continent.
Min Soo added that currently, Korea was considering getting large Korean IT companies to build infrastructure so as to make foreign production easier.
In the meantime, EBS is encouraging that for the broadcasting of African contents a global call for submissions to the EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) should be requested. The EIDF showcases the winning documentaries to Korean viewers. Jeong said that the festival had inspired Korea’s involvement in helping refugees from the Syrian War following its screening of the submitted documentary, The Last Man in Alaf.
Jeong concluded by adding that the festival happens every September and that the presentation of documentary films for the 2018 festival would start soon.
EBS has always focused on enhancing Korea’s education system through the provision of quality educational and cultural learning contents. They had a hand in the development of the country’s economy after the Korean War in the early 1950s, and since then the system has expanded its broadcasting reach and partnered with countries such as Chile, Turkey, Vietnam and Cambodia.