South Korean gov invests in content

Third stimulus package for local cultural units

The South Korean government is to deliver its third stimulus package to local cultural industries, with the announcement that it will invest 410 billion won ($274 million) in what it calls “killer content” with international potential by 2013.

Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will provide $33.3 million for comics, $67 million for animation, $40 million for character-driven content and $134 million to develop human resources.

Notably, it will select three to five projects every year via open competition and put $670,000 into them, to nurture them into global products.

“We will support killer content projects, in order to give birth to the next Mickey Mouse,” Yoo In-chon, the minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said at a press conference.

The ministry will also launch an initiative commemorating 100 years of Korean comics in 2009. Package will include an export drive for Korean cartoonists and creation of a comics fund that would be available for film and TV projects based on comics.

For the animation industry, the ministry will set up new policies to formalize broadcasting of animation content on cable, satellite and IPTV.

Last month the ministry announced a five-year investment plan worth $500 million to develop digital content (Daily Variety, Oct. 9.) A few days later the Korean Film Council unveiled its $55.5 million film fund to bail out the struggling movie industry (Daily Variety, Oct. 28).

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