Organizations and Facilities

Busan, Hub of Film and Visual Culture

Busan City has established its status as a global hub city of visual culture with its successful hosting of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which has now become a very significant annual event and the most influential film festival in Asia. The city has fostered the film and media industry, attempting to make it a major industry of Busan in the future and to give a boost to the local economy.

In particular, Busan Cinema Center, which opened in September 2011, is not only the main venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) but also a landmark building of South Korea which is already becoming one of Busan’s tourist attractions.

In addition, Busan has been successfully hosting film related events including the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), Busan International Advertising Festival (BIAF), Busan International Short Film Festival (BISFF), Busan International Kids Film Festival (BlKi), and GSTAR International Gaming Exhibition, and opened marketplaces for international film business like the Asian Film Market (AFM) and Busan Contents Market (BCM) to expand its talent base. Busan is growing into the leading one-stop film industry center in Korea for the investment, planning, production and distribution of films.

With the Busan Cinema Center, various film-related facilities – like the Busan Post-production Facility, Busan Cinema Venture Center, and Busan Culture Contents Complex – are located in the Centum Innovation district. A Film industry complex for film and media public agencies, including the Korean Film Council, and a cinema museum in Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, the historical cradle of Busan’s film-making heritage, are also being built. Therefore, it is expected that Busan’s city brand value as ‘a hub of the Asian film industry’ and as ‘the most prominent cultural city in Korea’ will soon reach its zenith.

Media and film related organizations and facilities

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Film/Media/Visual Content Festivals and Events

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Pusan International Film Festival

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The title, City of Film, owes much to the annual Busan International Film Festival and Busan International Short Film Festival.
However, what really promotes the city as a film hub of Asia is a firm determination of the city authorities and the citizens natural love of film.
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※ Since February 24, 2011, the official festival name was changed from ‘Pusan International Film Festival’ to ‘Busan International Film Festival’.

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Outline and History of Busan International Film Festival

  • Dynamic film festival focusing on discovering promising film directors in Asia and sharing outstanding Korean and Asian films. The festival contributes to making the city of Busan a mecca for movie buffs and the hub of the visual culture industry.
  • Leading Asian film industry as Asia’s largest and internationally acknowledged film festival, Busan International Film Festival is growing fast to become comparable to other world-renowned film festivals.

Festival Outline

  • Period: For ten days from the 1st Thursday of October every year, Venue: Movie theaters in Haeundae, Nampo-dong and other areas
    ※ 18th Busan International Film Festival: scheduled to be held Oct. 3-12, 2013
  • Event characteristics: Non-competitive film festival (except New Currents category)
  • Size: 300 movies from 70 countries
    5,000 domestic and overseas film people, 5,000 invited guests, about 200,000 audience
  • Programs: 10 sections – A Window on Asian Cinema, New Currents, World Cinema, etc.
  • Main Events: Asian Film Market (AFM), Asian Film Academy (AFA), Asian Cinema Fund (ACF)
  • Other festival events: opening and closing ceremonies, receptions, hand printing, sharing/discussing with audience, etc.

Progress & achievements

  1. Heighten national status in the international community
    – 1st BIFF successfully hosted Korea’s first-ever international film festival in September 1996
    – 6th BIFF recognized as one of the world’s eight most prestigious film festivals, PPP(Pusan Promotion Plan changed its name to Asian Project Market in February 2011) has stated an international pre-market
    – 8th BIFF, held in conjunction with PPP and BIFCOM (Busan International Film Commission and Industry Showcase), was raved as an international total market for movies and media
    – 9th BIFF was chosen by TIME Magazine as the best film festival in Asia, recognized as one of the five most prestigious film festivals in the world
    – 10th BIFF included the Asian Film Market in the program and established itself as the center of Asian film circles – the only movie trade fair in Korea selected by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) as a high quality level film festival at an international film festival summit held in Berlin, Germany,
    – 12th BIFF was awarded UNESCO’s Felini medal – Cannes was the first film festival awarded this medal, and BIFF was the second.
    – 13th BIFF attracted the largest audience to date (198,000), and screened the most (228) world premieres
    *Chosen as the festival most wanted to see in Korea: research conducted by the Korea Research Center, sponsored by The Forum of Korean Future
    – The 16th BIFF, held for the first time in the Busan Cinema Center, the main venue of the BIFF, in September 2011, successfully launched a new era in its distinguished history.
  2. Economic Impact (based on BDI research data, 2009)
    – Established its foundation as the hub of Asian visual culture, elevated the value of the city brand
    – Has an economic impact (production and added value) of 53.6 billion won and created 1,150 jobs.

Busan International Film Festival Main projects

  1. Asian Film Academy (begun 2005)
    – Goal: Educate young promising Asian film makers, consolidate network for film professionals
    – Overview:
      Educational program with approximately 50 film people participating (faculty, production instructors, learners).
      The program lasts for about 20 days. Production of short films, lectures, faculty film screening,
      workshops, discussions
    – 24 participants from 16 countries
  2. Asian Film Market (begun 2006)
    – Overview: Asia’s rising film market trade show, Accelerate growth of Korean film industry
    – Projects: Sale of Film rights and Project rights, Market screening, Online screening, Asian Project Market, etc.
    – Facts & Figures to date: about 100 booths from 120 companies and organizations, about 100 screenings
    ※ Figures from 2011: 108 registered companies and organizations from 26 countries
  3. Asian Cinema Fund (begun 2007)
    – Goal: Activate production of independent movies from Asia, help set up a stable production environment
    – Projects: Pre-production (scrip development fund), Post-production (Post-production fund),
      documentary (Asian Network of Documentary Fund)
    – Number of movies produced with grants from ACF: 173 films (25 films in 2007, 27 films in 2008, 28 films in 2009, 31 films in 2010, 31 films in 2011, 31 films in 2012)
  4. Busan Cinema Forum (begun 2011)
    – Goal: Prepare theoretical basis and a development plan for the future of world cinema
    – Overview: keynote address, presentation by world’s prominent film societies, panel discussion
    – Participants: 6 academic societies (35 people), 502 registers and 830 unregistered participants