Film and cinema in general are very popular in North Korea, with North Koreans going to the cinema in their free time and prices remaining pretty cheap.
Since opening, it has produced hundreds of North Korean films, some of which have been released internationally and have won prizes and awards. Notable films include; The Flower Girl (1972), A Broad Bellflower (1987) and Hong Oil Dong (1986). The first film it produced was My Native Home in 1949, as both South and North Korea rushed to be the first to produce a film after separation. (The South actually got there first).
Generally, film themes are surrounded by Korean history, the Korean War, the anti-Japanese struggle, and also serial productions for TV.
Located about 20 minutes outside of Pyongyang’s city centre, it covers an area of over 1 million m². It is the main spot for the production of North Korean films, but also doubles up as a tourist spot as it is usually open for tourism – although it has been closed for a few months due to renovation.
When you first enter the North Korean Film Studio, you will see a large bronze statue of Kim Il Sung amongst the cast of ‘The Flower Girl’. There are also various mosaics relating to the North Korean film industry.
In the grounds you can explore various sets, including ones they use for scenes in China, Japan, and even Europe. As well as traversing the globe, you can also traverse time as you go into a post-colonial Korea or imperial Japan. Walking around these streets, past the ramen and sushi restaurants, and past the big European-style housing set amongst rolling hills in grass, is a really bizarre experience.
You can also pay a bit extra to try on various outfits and costumes used for the films!