Korean Film Studio (North Korea)

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Logo descriptions by
naxo-olé, Logohub and Henrynguye5


Logo captures by
naxo-olé, Logohub, Yukabacera, Minako Arisato, and Henrynguye5


Editions by
Minako Arisato


Video captures courtesy of
Peakpasha, Logohub, Virginia Martin, and PFS2021Channel

Background

North Korea's principal producer of feature films is the Korean Film Studio (also referred as Korean Art Film Studio and Pyongyang Film Studio), a state-run studio of about 10 million square feet (930,000 m²) founded in 1947 and located outside of Pyongyang. It has been said that the studio produced about 40 films a year (almost 4 films a month). Perhaps Korean Film's most notable release is Pulgasari, a North Korean Godzilla-like kaiju film directed by South Korean director Shin Sang-ok (see also: Shin Films), one of the most renowned Korean directors of the time who was kidnapped by then-future North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Shin also directed several other films under Korean Film Studio and the North Korean branch of Shin Films.

1st Logo (1950s-c. 1961)

Logo: On a cloud background, we see a statue depicting a peasant-soldier-worker trio turning (in a similar way to the third logo and early Chinese People's Republic logos), with the worker holding a North Korean flag and the company name "조선화인" being in a white, blocky font.

Variant: On the Chinese release of Boy Partisans, the company's full name in written in Chinese: "朝鮮電影製片廠"; along with a byline saying "一九五一年出品" ("Produced in 1951" in English), since the movie was filmed in 1951, but would only be released in the following year, 1952. It's unknown if this byline appeared on the original Korean version.

FX/SFX: Live action and rostrum camera.

Music/Sounds: Opening theme of the film.

Availability: Near extinction. Seen on their earlier films, such as 신혼부부.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo (c. 1961-present)

Logo: On a sky background with some clouds below, we see a drawing of the Paektu Mountain on the top left corner. Peaking out of the clouds is the Chollima Statue (located in Pyongyang) making a turn of about 60 degrees (like the logo of Mosfilm), and we see "조 선 화 인" appearing below the statue.

Variants:

  • Early appearances had the company name slightly transparent with a white outline.
  • On 조국으로 돌아오다 (Return to Homeland), the brighter version of the early logo fades in with Chollima Statue plays at normal and Korean company name fades in at the beginning.
  • In widescreen films, the characters are more spaced.
  • Starting in the 2010's, the logo is enhanced, and the logo variations may vary from bright to dark.
  • On the North Korean release of Eternal Comrades, a Soviet-North Korean film produced by Korean Film and Mosfilm, a special variant was created. On a background which is Mosfilm's red sky and Korean Film's blue sky combined, the Paektu Mountain and Spasskaya Tower can be seen, as well as both the Chollima Statue and the Worker and Kolhoz Woman monument on the sides of the screen. Both of the company names are shown. The Russian release of the film had a completely different variant that can be seen here.

Trivia: Both the Chollima Statue and the Paektu Mountain are very important in North Korea due to the prominence of state propaganda, in this case, relating to the North Korean properity and the "mystical" segment of the cult of personality surrounding Kim Il-sung and his successors.

FX/SFX: Same as the previous logo. Later and current releases have the logo enhanced in CGI.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Pretty common on airings of its movies on KCTV.

  • It is hard to acquire accurate information on when this logo is first used, knowing the nature of its country of origin.
  • Seen on their films such as The Flower Girl, An Emissary of No Return, Urban Girl Goes to Get Married, and so on. Its most notable use is probably on Pulgasari.
  • The early appearances of the logo is rare, bordering from very rare to extinct. Such titles like 조국으로 돌아오다 (Return to Homeland) and 로동자대학생 (The Student of Labor University) are examples.
  • The logo is still in use today and appears on recent films such as The Story of Our Home.

Editor's Note: None.

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