Busan: Asian Film Market Kicks Off With a Huge Spike in Participants

Courtesy of Busan International Film Festival
Busan Asian Film Market

The number of pre-registrations were up by 56 percent from 2017 as the South Korean film festival gets back on track following years of political controversy.

The Asian Film Market kicked off Saturday at BEXCO in conjunction with the 23rd Busan International Film Festival, featuring a huge hike in the number of participants as Asia's largest cinema event gets back on track following years of political controversy.

According to organizers, the number of pre-registrations exceeded 2017's figure by about 56 percent, amounting to 1,339 film industry professionals from 50 countries. This includes 425 buyers from 32 countries and 171 companies from 23 countries that signed up for sales booths. Newcomers to the Asian Film Market include The Open Reel (Italy), Film Constellation (U.K.), Golden Scene, Mei Ah Entertainment (Hong Kong) and CREi Inc. (Japan), among others.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) also joined in the event with an increased number of Philippine companies. The strong presence is in tandem with the Busan Film Festival's special showcase feting the centennial of Philippine cinema.

This year's market features a total of 69 market screenings of 64 films from 11 countries. Of these, 38 titles are market premieres and 16 are official selections of the film festival. In addition, Telefilm Canada joined the Market Screening again this year, with three genre films.

Signature features of the market include the Entertainment Intellectual Property Market (E-IP Market) and Book to Film, which also began Saturday. The events introduce 15 original books suitable for screen adaptation, while the Asian IP Showcase presents 12 Japanese and Chinese books seeking partners for film production secondary copyrights in connection with local publishers through business agreements with the Asian Film Market, Eric Yang Agency and BC Agency. The E-IP Pitching event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday at the Event Room, Exhibition Center 2, presenting original content ranging from web novels to web comics that will be adaptable across multiple media platforms.

The 21st Asian Project Market (APM), the biggest film project market in Asia, will run for three days from Oct. 7-9, featuring 29 projects by directors and producers that are actively engaged in the industry as well as prospective filmmakers. The latter have been selected through an unusually fierce competition, as the number of applications increased by about 30 percent from last year, according to organizers. The number of meeting requests has also surpassed last year's figure by about 150, and the regional diversity of the applicants has grown. Festival and market badge holders can book on-site meetings with official APM projects at the APM Zone, Hall 4E, Exhibition Center 2.

The Asian Film Market continues through Oct. 9 at Hall 4C-F, Exhibition Center 2, BEXCO.