Busan Asian Film Market to Inaugurate Casting Market for Regional Stars

Nathan Willock/Viewpictures.co.uk
Busan Cinema Center, main venue of BIFF

Various forums will also spotlight South Korean blockbusters, film production environment

In order to cater to the increasing number of joint ventures across the Asian entertainment scene, the 2014 Asian Film Market (AFM) will hold various events to support cross-border casting of local stars.

One of the region's most important markets, AFM will be held Oct. 5-8 during 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which will open Oct. 2-11 in the South Korean city of Busan. This year's AFM is expected to be larger than ever, as organizers have also announced that there was a 2.5-fold boost in the number of early sales booth registrations and a threefold increase of early badge registrations.

This year AFM will inaugurate the Asian Star Casting Market, which aims to function as a bridge among Asian celebrity management companies and talent agencies, as well as individual actors, directors and producers.  In the past decade or so Korean celebrities have found popularity across Asia and beyond, igniting what observers have called the "hallyu Korean wave" and even inaugurating a K-pop museum in Los Angeles.

As part of this new  market, a forum will be held on Oct. 7 to introduce major talent agencies across East Asia including Huayi Brothers Management and Easy Entertainment from China, BH Entertainment, KeyEast and JYP Entertainment from Korea, and K-DASH from Japan.

Meanwhile, other events will spotlight Korea's expanding film market and film fund programs in Europe.

The Korean Producers Forum on Oct. 8 will invite the producers of ten most commercially successful Korean films that have crossed the 10 million-admission mark in a country with a population of 50 million.

The introduction of multiplex cinemas in Korea in 1998 have made such box-office performances possible, and Kang Woosuk, the director/producer of Silmido, the first local picture to reach the milestone in 2003, and Kim Hanmin of the current box-office smash The Admiral: Roaring Currents (a.k.a. Roaring Currents) will discuss their views on the current state and future outlook of cinema production in Korea.

Film Fund Talk on Oct. 8 will spotlight world-renowned film funding programs representing Germany, France and the EU, respectively, while another event on the same day will introduce Busan's cluster of studios and digital post-production facilities and the city's aim to become a global media capital.

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