A new film production center featuring three stages and post-production facilities will open in Busan, the Korean city that styles itself as the hub of Asian cinema.
The country’s ministry of culture and sport, Busan city government, the Korean Film Council and Gijang County signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday (June 23) to build a film production center in the Ceramic Village in Gijang, the county located near Busan.
The new production center will feature two indoor studios, one outdoor site, post-production facilities, and a center for production support and funding. Construction is to take place between 2017 and 2019 on the 918,000 m2- site. Three more stages may be added later.
There are currently two production centers located in Busan, both operated by the Busan Film Commission: Korea’s largest studio complex Busan Cinema Studio; and 3D virtual production center Digital Bay.
Since 2010, the KOFIC has planned to sell its Namyangju Studios near Seoul and build the Busan studio instead. The original budget was set at $172 million (KRW 191 billion). But as the Namgyangju Studios remains unsold, KOFIC does not have the finances to hand and the plan has become unrealizable.
The ministry’s 2015 budget describes that the new Busan studio as using $6 million from the film development fund (raised from a 3% levy on cinema tickets) this year. The fund is also the source of KOFIC’s funding for the Busan International Film Festival which was slashed by 45% last month.
According to the BFC, the city has seen a significant increase in Chinese productions over the first half of this year. More than half the “My New Sassy Girl,” featuring Chinese K-pop star Victoria Song, and Taiwanese drama “Marry Me, or Not?” were filmed in Busan.