Busan Film Commission,
the Driving Foce of Busan Film Industry
Designated as Asia’s first Creative City of Film by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in December of 2014, Busan is a metropolitan city with 3.5 million people. This port city contains both modernity and tradition; the skyscrapers in Haeundae display the splendidness of 21st century, while Jagalchi fish market and back alley preserve the city’s decades-old memories. Embracing past and future, mountains and water, heritage and globalization – Busan has been able to establish itself as the city of film and attract film professionals with its versatility.
As a city of film, Busan has a world-class film production support system. Founded in December 20, 1999, Busan Film Commission is the first Korean organization that specialize in supporting film and video productions. By providing administrative assistance in acquiring shooting-related permit and database, Busan Film Commission became a role model to other film commissions in Korea and different Asian regions. Its so-called ‘Location Support System’, which assigns a location manger exclusively in charge of providing one-stop service for a single project, has contributed to the completion of 420 feature films (as of October, 2015), transforming Busan into a ‘shooting-friendly’ city of film. With the full support from its cinephile citizens and city institutions, such as police and fire department, Busan Film Commission has been the driving force to develop Busan film industry in a relatively short amount of time.
Not to mention the establishment of administrative network and location database for film production support, Busan Film Commission has strived to improve the infrastructure of the local film industry by introducing Busan Cinema Studios (November, 2001), Busan Cinema Venture Center (July, 2002), Busan Post-Production Facility (February, 2009), and Visual Industy Center (April, 2013). Furthermore, ‘3D Production Center – Digital Bay’, the Asia’s first virtual studio, opened in July, 2012, in order to cope with the ever-changing environment of digital production. Equipped with a state-of-the-art ‘On-set Pre-visualization system’, Digital Bay provides an efficient film production environment, unrestricted by a specific location. A number of the recent mainstream Korean features, such as (2013), (2013), (2014), and (2014), has been the beneficiaries of the On-Set Pre-Visulization system, thereby stabilizing the process of its commercialization.
In addition, Busan Film Commission has taken the leading role in developing Asian film industry by organizing Busan International Film Commission & Industry Showcase (BIFCOM) since 2001, and Asian Film Policy Forum since 2008. Celebrating the 12th anniversary in 2016, Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet), headed by Busan Film Commission as the chair organization, has become Asia’s largest non-profit international film-related organization with 59 members from 18 countries (as of December, 2015).
Meanwhile, education has been one of the major keywords that Busan Film Commission has concentrated. Starting from 2012, the commission managed Busan Film Technique Workshop to train about 900 students per year, in order to provide them opportunities for the enhancement of their expertise and self-improvement. Also, for the last five years, the commission has been selected by Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to organize ‘ASEAN-ROK Film Leaders Incubator: FLY’, which is an annual short-filmmking workshop for the future generation of Asian filmmakers from ASEAN countries and Korea. Based on the network and know-hows acquired from such experience, Busan Film Commission is in charge of managing Asian Film School in Busan, entrusted by the city government in 2015.
Busan Film Commission has worked consistently to establish a stable film production system and introduce film production support measures. Moreover, the commission will put its best effort to become the center of Asian film industry by continuing its cooperation and interaction with international film professionals and industry experts, thereby contributing to the vitalization of Asian film industry.