The Enduring Connection Between Austria and Korea

Through Franziska Donner-Rhee's Story and The Sound of Music's Popularity in South Korea

Production Service 

Korea  Filming in Austria 

Franziska Donner-Rhee, originally from Vienna, Austria, was not born to be a First Lady. She met her husband, Syngman Rhee, in Geneva in the 1930s when Korea's independence was uncertain. However, Syngman Rhee's unyielding belief in the liberation of his homeland eventually led to his presidency, and Franziska became the first First Lady of Korea. Her story, marked by sacrifice and devotion, continues to inspire people today, especially in South Korea, where her husband is credited with laying the foundation for a free and democratic country. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that South Koreans still enjoy watching "The Sound of Music," a movie that takes place in Austria and connects the two countries in a way that goes beyond geography.


The continued popularity of "The Sound of Music" among South Korean viewers is a testament to the enduring appeal of this beloved film. Even today, it remains a favorite choice for in-flight entertainment on flights to and from Austria. This sustained interest in the movie has also sparked curiosity among South Korean filmmakers about incorporating the stunning Austrian landscape into their own productions.


With the recent implementation of the new film production rebate model, which offers a 35% rebate on qualified expenditures, Austria has become an even more attractive filming location for international productions. This, coupled with the existing cultural connection between Austria and South Korea through the love story of Franziska Donner-Rhee, the first First Lady of Korea and wife of Syngman Rhee, presents a unique opportunity for collaborations between the two countries.


Furthermore, the legacy of Austrian cultural icons such as Mozart and the beautiful city of Salzburg and of course also Vienna continue to fascinate and inspire audiences around the world. As such, the potential for joint productions and film tourism between Austria and South Korea is vast and exciting.


In summary, the lasting popularity of "The Sound of Music" in South Korea and the new film production rebate model in Austria have created a favorable environment for potential collaborations between the two countries' film industries. Additionally, the shared cultural connection between Austria and South Korea through the story of Franziska Donner-Rhee presents a compelling narrative thread for filmmakers to explore.