According to an essay a colleague referred to me, the Korean Wave / Hallyu seems to have happened with little direct govt support.
Rather, it was the happy confluence of:
– a large domestic population that could sustain local production
-Chaebols making early investments in filmmaking talent and facilities (mid-late 1990s), so they could get content for their cable channels (in turn facilitated by govt legislation). When the chaebols got out of the game, the talent stayed in Korea and joined indies.
– Legislation encouraging investment in film by chaebols first, then VCs, funds and individuals (perhaps the only good direct action by government?)
– K-drama being cheaper to acquire than J-drama
– Media liberalisation across Asia
Shim, Doobo, “The Growth of Korean Cultural Industries and the Korean Wave”. In East Asian Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave, edited by Chua Beng Huat and Koichi Iwabuchi (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2008 )