KOFIC backs indies, staff pay

Moves come as part of film council shake-up in 2010

SEOUL -- More independent screens and greater pay for staff are just two moves the Korean Film Council plans to improve the local film industry, KOFIC announced Wednesday.

These plans came from the council’s major project outline for 2010.

KOFIC will require all recipients of independent production funding to use a minimum of 25% of budget to pay their staff, excluding actors and directors, to prevent uneven distribution of pay and labor abuse. The company must also operate a “clean card system” aimed at maintaining transparent management of the council’s production grant, which will include using a separate bank account strictly for KOFIC funding.

Also, three more screens playing only independent films will be added to local theaters, funded by KOFIC – a measure that has been discussed for months as part of the plans for minority quota system aimed at nurturing non-mainstream and indie-films.

Aside from their measures on independent films, the government-backed film body will commission 80% of the council’s current projects to local film companies, and focus their main goals on the remaining projects, which mostly deal with expanding production support for Korean films and facilitating a local script market.
KOFIC received the lowest performance score out of all Korean public bodies in the government’s annual evaluation in June, forcing the former chairman to resign.