The North Korean Film Studio (조선예술영화촬영소 | 朝鮮藝術攝影所）is the home of the DPRK film industry. It’s located in Pyongyang, North Korea. The studio was founded in 1947 and covers an area of over 1 million m². It is a functioning film studio producing multiple Korean films.
Over the years that the film studio has been around, it has produced hundreds of films. Some of which have won awards and prizes at international film festivals. Popular films include The Flower Girl (1972), A Broad Bellflower (1987), and Hong Kil Dong (1986).
Normally, it is open to tourists and North Koreans to visit, however, it is currently undergoing renovations.
So what did the studio look like inside?
Let’s take a look!
Inside the studio grounds, there are various sets for you to explore.
You take a step back in time as you visit sets that are made to mimic streets of years ago.
These sets are meant to approximate colonial-era Korea and South Korea, Manchuria in the 1930s, Imperial Japan, and some generic western country.
The Europe set has you feel like you’re in an entirely different country. You’re surrounded by what feels like green rolling hills and small cottages and detached houses.
Walk down the Chinese and Japanese streets and you can see typical sushi and ramen restaurants dotted around.
Traditionally films produced here have focused on a number of genres: traditional Korean stories, the anti-Japanese struggle both in Korea and Manchuria, the Korean War, and contemporary socialist-style dramas.
In recent years, the production of films has slowed down, with shifts towards serial productions for television.
When you’re walking around, you can pay an extra fee to dress up in the costumes on the set and do your own re-inactment!
Over the years, artists from the film studio were instructed to paint advertisements and hoardings to make the sets look realistic and to create a North Korean view of foreign street scenes.
Pyongyang Film Studio is being renovated and the posters which were dreamt up by North Korean artists as ‘imperialist advertising’ used to make the streets more authentic are being removed.
Find out more about these film posters.