Latest KOFIC chairman under fire

8:32 AM PST 05/27/2010 by Park Soo-Mee, AP

Charged with interfering in indie selection process

SEOUL -- Cho Hee-mun, the chairman of Korea Film Council, has been held accountable for his “inappropriate handling” during the selection process of local indie films that competed for the council’s production grant, and may face resignation.

Shin Jae-min, the deputy Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports, said in a press briefing Thursday that Cho expressed “regrets” about the controversial incident, but that he needs to take "further responsibility" of the matter, suggesting Cho's resignation.

While he was in Cannes, Cho had allegedly made personal phone calls to the council’s juries who were reviewing films that had been submitted for the council’s production grant, and demanded certain films to be selected. Shin said Cho's act was inappropriate, given that the council’s project, which is operated by government budget, requires “absolute justice.” 

Cho was appointed by the council in September, replacing his predecessor Kang Han-sup, who was also forced to resign after the council received the lowest score in a government’s evaluation of public bodies. Cho is expected to vacate his position shortly.
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