While in 1926 the first films were produced in Pusan, in 1945 [he did not say this, but I would note it here: "In 1945 when the U.S. army occupied the former Japanese colony of South Korea..."] theaters closed and no writers, directors, producers worked in Pusan. Every aspect of the film industry moved to Seoul, including publishing and all cultural events, creating a vacuum, or cultural wasteland in Pusan.
In 1996 Pusan International Film Festival was founded and the film industry began to reestablish its roots in Pusan.
- In 1998 Rotterdam Cinemart -- which was formerly headed by Wouter Barendrect, the man credited with bringing Asian films to the west -- began working with PPP which essentially brought the western "players" to the east to participate in international co-productions originating in the east.
- Pusan's Film Commission was the first in Asia to have an organized effort to bring production to locations in Pusan.
- Extensive studio facilities continue to be built in Pusan.
- Exports of Korean films expanded from $50 millon in 1996 to $76 million in 2005.
- The market share of Korean films in Korea rose from 20% in 1996 to 60% in 2008.
- Profits from the business have been reinvested in training the upcoming generations in film and in promotion of the Korean film industry.
- And as announced in the following article in Screen Daily, (KOFIC presents reform plan to culture ministry News Screen: "The Korean Film Council (KOFIC), led by recently-appointed chairman CHO Hee-moon, reported on a plan for reform today (November 11) to the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, YOO In-chon." ) "According to an initiative to move government offices out of Seoul, KOFIC is now scheduled to move its offices to Busan by December 2012. It is due to sell its main office building in Hongneung and the Seoul Studio Complex in Namyangju by December 2011, while keeping the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) building in the Hongdae neighborhood only to re-educate and train film industry workers. "
The remainder of Screen's article leaves me wondering at the political implications of the article and which players are right, left, like-minded (with my concerns and Pusan's). However, the points made after the dizzyfying rhetoric (here quoted: The government-funded organisation has recently been suffering through what the labour union called “KOFIC’s greatest crisis” before and after the exit of its much-criticised former chairman KANG Han-sup. The problems included the staff’s weak performance evaluation and attacks from veteran filmmakers on what they called “leftist favoritism” in the years before Korea’s current right-wing administration took over. ) are important points:
- This included a proposal to stop giving P&A funds to overseas distributors of Korean films in advance, and instead selecting final recipients after they have finished releasing a film.
- The same applies to independent and art films – instead of pre-production funds, KOFIC plans to award completed films.
- In 2010 to 2011, KOFIC will also create a $17.25m (KW20bn) account to guarantee loans, meant to support Korean films and their development in overseas markets, as well as in the form of co-productions.
- To fight piracy, KOFIC will make available an online marketplace for films called KOME – Korean Open Movie Exchange. It estimates KOME will help the online market grow from $14.15m to $252.8m in the next three years.
- In an effort to ameliorate the currently poor treatment of below-the-line staff and crew, KOFIC is also planning to create a system which will use 25% of its support programme budget for below-the-line wages, and to make sure the investment funds KOFIC has taken part in support the due payment of staff and crew before all else.
- Minister YOO In-chon urged the KOFIC staff to “meet with filmmakers on a regular basis to find out what they are doing and what they need.”
- He also demanded a re-evaluation of state support methods for film festivals such as the recently wrapped Grand Bell Awards, which have been gathering increasing criticism towards the lack of confidence in their selection and awards practices.
- Related Articles Kang resigns as chairman of Korean Film Council 2 July 2009 Cho appointed as head of Korean Film Council 8 September 2009 South Korea at AFM 1 November 2009 Asian film commissions to jointly develop incentives system 14 October 2009 Pusan appoints new executives and programmers 12 March 2009 Linked Articles KOFIC to back Im Kwon-taek’s 101st film 22-Jul-2009 KOFIC selects 29 screens for Artplus Cinema programme 9-Apr-2009 KOFIC hands out $1.82m under two funding schemes 7-Apr-2009 KOFIC hands out p&a funding to three companies 16-Mar-2009 KOFIC cuts funding, overhauls investment strategy 10-Mar-2009
I hope I will be able to speak with KIM Dong-Ho before he leaves today. If I do, this article will be revised.