Busan Ready to set up Year Round Asian Film Academy

BUSAN — After hosting short-term teaching sessions for ten years, the Busan Film Commission is to give a permanent home to the Asian Film Academy.

Oh Seok-geun, director of the Busan Film Commission, told Variety that the city will set up the Asian Film Academy at the end of 2015 in the Suyeong Yachting Center, which previously housed the Busan International Film Festival’s opening and closing ceremonies.

“It will be open to Asian film talent and will have state-of-the-art facilities,” said Oh. Discussions with the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) about exactly how it should be set up are still ongoing.

The AFA is currently held during the Busan festival period with world-renowned directors such as Lee Chang-dong, Abbas Kiarostami and Bela Tarr (pictured) serving as visiting deans.

Concerns, however, are being raised that the AFA will become a rival to KOFIC’s Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), which is located in Seoul, and has produced scores of well-known directorial talent. 

“If KAFA is merged with or replaced by Busan’s AFA, I’m not sure how many people will be willing to relocate. The center of Korean film production is still in Seoul,” said one KAFA professor who asked to remain anonymous.

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