Busan, China's Wanda Group to Launch $180M Film Fund

2012-23 REP Wang Jianlin H

Wang suggests decentralizing film approvals.

The two also plan to collaborate for co-productions and film festival exchanges

The South Korean city of Busan and China's Dalian Wanda Group inked an agreement in Beijing on Monday to set up a joint film production fund, Busan officials said on Tuesday.

Busan Mayor Seo Byung-soo signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin, the world's largest owner and operator of movie theaters, including Wanda Cinema in China and AMC in the U.S.

Busan city officials were not available to confirm details, but reports quote Seo as saying that "Wanda has suggested creating a fund beginning with at least 200 billion won ($180 million)" and that the two parties plan to make equal contributions. "The size of the fund will be decided next year," the mayor said, according to Korea's Financial News.

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As much as Busan is host to the Busan International Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in Asia, city officials and Wanda Group plan to facilitate exchanges between BIFF and a soon-to-be-launched film festival in Qingdao, China.

The two are also discussing ways to collaborate for co-producing and distributing films, as well as to support the development of the two countries' VFX industries and to encourage international exchange of film crew members.

Wang is slated to visit Busan as early as March of next year to finalize the agreement.

The joint venture will be able to benefit from a recently signed landmark agreement that allows Korea and China to treat co-productions as local titles in both countries, thereby bypassing import and distribution quotas.