The film industry regulator and financier officially made its move on Friday Oct. 25. It will take up temporary office space in the Centum Industry Academy Campus until its own building near the Busan Cinema Center is completed in 2015. The KOFIC building is also expected to house the Korean Film Academy.
Separately, KOFIC is building the Busan Cinema Studio, a replacement for the shooting facilities outside Seoul that it is selling. The new studio, also to be completed by 2015, will include six sound stages built to the highest international standards and related dressing room, props and craft services units. Some time after 2016 KOFIC expects to complement these with a theme park and sports facilities built and operated as a public private partnership.
The relocation to Busan is part of a 2005 government decentralization strategy, intended to reduce the concentration of government and industry in Seoul. It has been resisted by many companies and individuals, who would be forced to choose between moving their families to a new city or finding a new job.
While much of the Korean film industry will probably stay in its adopted home in the Gangnam area, in south central Seoul, some functions have already made the move. The Korean Media Ratings Board and some post-production companies are already in Busan.
“Three visual organizations including KOFIC will move into the Centum District in Busan according to the government’s plan to move public organizations to non-Seoul areas for the balanced growth of the country,” said Kim Eui-suk, KOFIC chairman. “We will steadfastly play our role in creating a new visual culture space in the city and transforming Busan into the central movie destination of the world by closely cooperating with the Busan International Film Festival, the Busan Film Commission and the Busan Cinema Center.”