Business will be booming at Busan — at least going by the healthy number of companies headed to Asian Film Market.

The number of companies registered at the mart, which runs Oct. 8-11, has risen 7% compared to last year. Some 170 shingles from 30 countries are expected with a strong showing from North American outfits including Myriad Pictures, Cinema Management Group and Cinemavault.

The market’s growing size reflects its increasing status in the region.

Japanese firms headed to Busan include Toho, Toei, TBS and Kadokawa. Hong Kong’s Distribution Workshop, Edko and Golden Network will once again attend, with Emperor and We Distribution joining for the first time. European Film Promotion (EFP), Taiwan and the Philippines will have umbrella stands this year along with a booth from the Korean Film Council (Kofic). First-time buyers such as Brazil’s Imovision, Angel Films from Denmark and Italy’s Medusa Film are set to be notable additions to the event.

The Bexco center — which received rave reviews hosting last year’s events — will host the AFM for the second year. After years of venues at different beachside hotels, organizers hope that what the event now lacks in terms of a sea view will be more than compensated by varied programs, better organization and its proximity to the Busan Cinema Center.

“We realized last year that Bexco is a natural setting for chance meetings, foregoing the need in many cases to set up formal appointments. We also noticed last year that the venue is conducive for different groups, such as buyers, sales companies, producers and directors to mingle in a more organic way,” says Nam Dong-chul, general manager of the Asian Film Market.

This year will also see Kofic collaborating with AFM on the Kofic Industry Forum, which will provide practical insights for international co-production projects.

Fest Traveler: Busan Intl. Film Festival 2012
Big fest flaunts arty ambitions | Busan flavored with strong Chinese flavor | Mart beefs up numbers | Project Market travels beyond Asia for lineup