“Roma,” Alfonso’ Cuaron’s loving recreated portrayal of family life in 1970s Mexico, is to get a theatrical release in South Korea. The film was originally commissioned for online streaming giant Netflix.
Pan Cinema will handle the release in Korea from Dec. 12. It is currently unclear how many screens the film will obtain, or how long it will play. It is scheduled to debut online from Dec. 14.
The additional big screen outing in Korea, comes after Netflix earlier agreed to limited theatrical outings for ‘Roma’ in the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S., the film will be in cinemas for roughly three weeks, beginning on Nov. 21.
“Roma” debuted to great acclaim at the Venice and Toronto festivals in September and is considered a front-runner for the Oscars. Unlike the U.S. and U.K. which are both home to large numbers of Academy members, Korea has little sway in deciding the destination of the Oscar prizes. Nevertheless, there are still plausible reasons for an outing in Korea.
The film played strongly with Busan festival audiences in October. And Korean commercial audiences regularly turn out in large numbers for films that are exceptionally mounted and have stand-out acting performances.
Netflix may also have an eye on the Korean creative community. Netflix has previously tempted big screen directors Bong Joon-ho (“Okja”) and Park Jong-woo (“Pandora,) Kim Seong-hun (upcoming series “Kingdom”) with healthy budgets for challenging movies that other studios might have deemed too uncommercial to produce. Adding a theatrical release component should help the company to keep attracting big-name Korean directors.