BUSAN: Growing Korean Ancillary Biz Drives Asian Film Market

Busan’s Asian Film Market opens today with attendance expected to be up 20% on last year, as it draws in participants from further afield.

According to Jay Jeon, head of the market and deputy director of the Busan festival, more sellers are coming to get a piece of the Korean market.

“Korea continues to grow. That’s driven by a solid theatrical market and ancillary markets which are really taking off now,” said Jeon. New participants hail from countries including Estonia and Australia.

Screen Australia and the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) signed a memorandum of understanding Saturday that is part of a process expected to lead to a treaty spanning bilateral film and television co-productions. A full treaty is expected to be ratified once the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, containing an annex on audiovisual co-production, comes into force.

“Our ambition (for the Busan market) is to be the biggest film marketplace in Asia, not a TV market,” said Jeon, making a swipe at the Hong Kong FilMart, held each year in March.

The market — along with the Asian Project Market and the BIFCOM locations market — sets up camp in a new exhibition hall this year, but still within the giant BEXCO exhibition and convention center.

In 2013 market attendance rose 16% with 1,272 participants hailing from 733 companies and 49 countries.

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