Korean Film Council in export insurance pact


SEOUL -- The Korean Film Council is teaming up with the Korea Export Insurance Corp. to launch export insurance for local films, KOFIC said Friday.

Trying to reverse a troubled decline in movie exports, KOFIC and KEIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday to cooperate on efforts in the domestic movie industry, including export insurance.

South Korea has the world's fifth-largest theatrical movie market, earning $1.1 billion in 2006. However a recent collapse in film exports has made the industry shakier then ever.

After soaring to a high of $76 million in 2005, Korean movie exports bottomed out in 2006, particularly to Japan, plunging to just $24.5 million.

With Korea's domestic film market tightening significantly in 2007, reducing local movies to 52% of the boxoffice this year, down from a record high of 64.7% in 2006, a strong export market is seen by many in the industry as an essential part of the local industry's health.

Under the MOU, KEIC will offer export insurance to selected projects that are either intended for export or that have significant international presales. The insurance will provide partial coverage against losses to the films' production and P&A budget.

KOFIC will provide support to the KEIC venture, identifying projects and personnel, as well as researching general information about films and industry trends.

KOFIC will supply any money directly to KEIC's insurance plans, and KEIC has not finalized details.

The introduction of export insurance is designed to help Korean movie companies reduce their risks in "aggressively" targeting overseas markets.