Will Korea's 'Winter Sonata' woo India?

NEW DELHI: Thus far, it has been Latin American telenovellas that have held Indian audiences in thrall. But the visiting delegations from Korea at the ongoing TV Showcase here would like to believe that the tide will change in favour of Eastern fare soon.

Winter Sonata, a beautifully woven love story that spans generations, has swept television viewers off their feet not just in home country Korea, but also in China, Taiwan, Japan and far flung African nations. Producers KBS are now hoping the hallyu, the tidal wave of Winter Sonata, will also Indian TV screens.

They may well be right. State broadcaster Doordarshan, represented by its international acquisition officials at the Showcase, have expressed their interest in buying the series for telecast. Satellite channels, though not many were present at the Delhi meet, could also be interested in the slow paced but emotionally tightly knit drama that traces the lives of two star struck lovers over the years.

But Winter Sonata is not all that Korea wants to export to India. As Korean Broadcasting Commission head Kyu Sang Cho estimates, the initial offerings that would be lapped up are the documentaries. Drama and innovation would follow later. Among the other offerings that KBS has on its menu for Indian broadcasters to sample is Forbidden Love, a love story between a Gumiho (a legendary creature) and a man, a series interspersed with a lot of futuristic effects.

KBS' Loving You is about a man who falls in love with the woman who saves his life, and Oh! Feel Young is a wacky love story about a teenager trying to find himself. There are other interesting themes like KBS' Second Proposal, which is about a woman divorcee who is trying to make a living on her own, after being dumped by her husband in favour of a younger woman.

Documentaries like Human Theater also form part of the repertoire that KBS is trying to interest the Indian market with.

What now remains to be seen is whether India bites the Korean bait.


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