The Asian Project Market aims to encourage collaborations between Asian and non-Asian filmmakers. Projects at this year’s mart encompass a wide range of regions from Asia to Europe with Turkey, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in between. Some 30 projects are repped this year.

“This year’s APM will see it becoming more true to its name with the event establishing itself firmly as a representative market in Asia for film projects,” says Nam Dong-chul, general manager of the Asian Film Market. “But we’re no longer limiting ourselves to all-Asian projects. At the same time, we have come to pride ourselves on our know-how on inter-Asian projects.”

Nam says Busan is the only festival in Asia with a funding program aimed at script development (the Asian Cinema Fund, worth $10,000). There’s also a post-production fund, which provides a project the opportunity to complete post-production at state-of-the-art facilities in South Korea.

“We are in a position to provide not only mental, emotional support but also financial help to indie filmmakers,” Nam says.

One such project that received Asian Cinema Fund coin is “Lenin?!,” from Kyrgyzstan’s Marat Alykulov. After getting the financial support from the Busan fest, the project is now part of this year’s market lineup.

While the Asian Project Market includes some more established filmmakers such as Royston Tan (“69”), Wang Xiaoshuai (“I Love You Arirang”) and Min Kyu-dong (“Lucky Boy”), its reach is broad, and inclusion of relatively obscure film-producing nations such as Kazakhstan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in the lineup is part of APM’s effort to highlight all parts of Asia, Nam says.

South Korea’s Yeon Sang-ho, whose “King of Pigs” unspooled at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight this year, has his second project (“The Fake”) at the Asian Project Market, as does Park Jung-bum (“Journals of Musan”), whose “Pawel” is a co-production between South Korea and Poland.

“Before Korean cinema became a regular presence in the international festival circuit, many people outside Asia thought Asian cinema was only about films from China or Japan,” Nam says. “People both in and out of Korea worked hard to show that wasn’t the case. We feel it’s now BIFF’s and APM’s turn to promote films and projects from lesser-known Asian countries.”

The Asian Project Market runs Oct. 8-11.

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