Major South Korean Film Bodies Move to Busan

The host city of Asia’s largest film festival has become the new home for the Korean Film Council and other major film/media-related public organizations.

SEOUL -- Three of South Korea’s major public institutions devoted to film and media have relocated from Seoul to Busan, which is best known as the host city of the annual Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).

According to Busan metropolitan government, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) completed the move on Oct. 25 to the Centum City area. KOFIC is a state-supported, self-administered organization that promotes local films.

Earlier this month, the Korea Media Rating Board (KRMB) and Game Rating Board also settled in the neighborhood.

Busan has long hosted the region’s largest film festival and more recently became equipped with facilities such as the Busan Cinema Center. The center was built not only to serve as the main venue of the festival but to also for various communal and business functions.

The relocation of Korea’s three major film and media-related public institutions is designed to further Busan’s role in the country’s film business, which has traditionally been centered on Seoul. Observers, however, warn that there need to be more sustainable, long-term plans to make sure this happens.

“Busan needs to play a more proactive role in order to truly take advantage of the three major organizations’ relocation here,” said BIFF festival director Lee Yong-kwan. “The city needs to cultivate various networks with these film/media bodies to help develop related industries and endeavors.”

On Oct. 25, the KRMB hosted the International Film Classification Forum as one of its inaugural events in Busan. Held for the first time in Asia, the forum invited representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) and the Australian Classification Board (ACB) to discuss ways to revamp local media rating systems.