BIFCOM ends on high note

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BUSAN, South Korea -- This year's Busan International Film Commission and Industry Showcase recovered from a slow start to finish with a bustling weekend of activity that boosted the event's "credibility," organizers said.

Buyers swarmed into the last two days of the showcase -- increasingly viewed among the industry insiders as a trend-setting film showcase, especially in Asia -- shopping around booths offering local refreshments and souvenirs brought by regional film commissions to promote their areas as film locations.

About 3,700 people attended this year's showcase at the Paradise Hotel, according to the BIFCOM organizer.

The "best booth-buster," an award given to companies or commissions that attracted the most buyers and visitors during the showcase period, went to Kita Kyushu Film Commission and Magic Vision from Japan.

Apart from the showcase, this year's BIFCOM hosted a special seminar series by major studios on digital restoration following last year's theme of 3-D cinema, including the announcement of Hong Kong's Shaw Studios new imaging and restoration facility.

Overall, the show's relocation from last year's Grand Hotel to the Paradise this year was seen by many participants as a better setting for public exposure, despite the smaller space.

"The themes we addressed in the past two years, particularly with this year's digital film restoration, helped us to build the showcase's credibility," said Kim Jung-hyun, a BIFCOM representative.

"Increasingly we see trade shows in other parts of Asia picking up the same themes that we do after our showcase. It shows us as an industry trend-setter."
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