You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Asian Film School Trains Next Gen of Regional Producers

Based in Asia’s first UNESCO-designated city of film, the Busan Asian Film School is an international film business academy. Since it opened in 2017, the school has offered practical education, with a curriculum includes hands-on filmmaking courses such as project development and production, as well as courses on financing, distribution and marketing.

While leading film institutes in South Korea, such as the Korean Academy of Film Arts and production house Myung Films Institute, train students in various disciplines, including directing, screenwriting, producing, shooting and editing, the AFiS particularly focuses on producing and international co-production.

“We aim to help our students understand what a producer does in feature film production, because producers’ roles are very important in promoting co-productions in Asia,” said Han Sun-hee, professor and dean of the AiFS’ international film business academy course. “In Asia, AiFS is the only film institute that puts so much emphasis on producing in the film business.”

Also, unlike other institutes where students graduate with completed feature films of their own, the AFiS encourages its students come up with a project and gives them opportunities to pitch the project at the AFiS Project Pitching session during the Busan International Film Festival.

The school also differs from other longer-standing film institutes, which are mostly for aspiring Korean filmmakers, in demographics: AFiS selects about 20 students from all around Asia to enter the course every year.

“The majority of our students are in their early thirties and have fine career [already]. Among some 20 students, almost half of them are currently working as production staff, line producers and producers, while the other half can write scripts and direct their own films,” Han explained.

Alumni have formed the New Asian Producers Network, an association of young and aspiring Asian film producers, in order to share ideas that dovetail with international trends, based on each member’s experience and expertise. In collaboration with the AFiS, the organization also aims to discover diverse Asian content, help build the development of a reasonable production system in Asia and explore alternative business models. Some of the members have returned home and have been committed to educating young film talent in their own countries, while others have founded cinemas for independent filmmakers. White Screen Cinema, an independent cinema in Brunei, is an example.

Among some 40 alumni, Sri Lankan Sumudu Malalagama participated in the Open Door Lab, the producer training workshop of the Locarno International Film Festival, and was awarded a grant from the Torino Film Lab for her project “Heli; The Daughter.” “Heli” also won a development grant from the BIFF in 2017. “Worm and Widow,” a co-production project being handled by two alumni from Brunei and Korea, won a cash prize of $13,000 at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival’s project market.

Enhancing the possibilities of inter-Asian co-productions is also one of the school’s main goals. Based in a city with great filmmaking environment that the majority of Korean productions benefit from, and a festival best-known for its programming of Asian films, the AFiS can nurture young Asian talents, help them build up the industry network for future co-productions, and bring them back to the city to actually shoot their films.

“Because AFiS will keep producing talented Asian producers as years go by, we expect to see more and more Asian projects come to Busan and use the city’s location,” Lee Seung-ui, head of the BFC’s production support department, told Variety.

The AFiS is currently recruiting fellows for the 2019 course.

“We want candidates who are knowledgeable about the film industry of their own countries and the film history. Also, we hope to see how their experiences at the AFiS can help them in their future as filmmakers,” said Han.

More Film

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content