Korean Film Council Appoints Oh Seok-geun as New Head

Oh Seok geun -Publicity-P 2018
Courtesy of KOFIC

The former director of the Busan Film Commission says recovery from a state-sponsored blacklisting scandal is the top priority.

Oh Seok-geun, former director of the Busan Film Commission, has been named the new head of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the South Korean state-backed body for promoting local films. The Korean ministry of culture, sports and tourism on Friday announced that the 57-year-old will begin his three-year tenure on Monday.

Oh had vied against Kwon Chil-in, former director of the Incheon Film Commission, for the position that had remained vacant since June. Previous KOFIC leader Kim Sae-hoon offered his resignation from the post in May after being accused of complicity in a state-sponsored blacklisting of artists.

"The Korean Film Council must first and foremost regain the trust of the film community and reprise its role as a public body," Oh said during an open debate with Kwon held Dec. 27 in Seoul. A new nine-member board has been created within KOFIC under the auspices of Oh.

The new head also said he would also like to focus on creating a network to promote the development of pan-Asian film industries.

Oh has been at the forefront of promoting international exchange in the region as president of the Asian Film Commissions Network and has initiated collaborative projects among Korea, Japan, China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries.

The filmmaker directed movies in the 1990s until the mid-2000s including As You Please, Invited Pinokio, The 101st Proposition and Love Is a Crazy Thing. He also was a founding member of the Busan International Film Festival and served as its first general manager from 1996 to 2000.

Oh's tenure as head of KOFIC will continue through Jan. 7, 2021.