The Busan International Film Festival’s annual market events will be shifting largely online this year. That is a response to the coronavirus pandemic, and widespread travel restrictions in Asia.
Organizers said on Friday that the Asian Contents & Film Market, previously known as the Asian Film Market, “will run as a combined virtual and physical event” from Monday Oct. 12 to Wednesday 14 Oct. That is also one day shorter than the previously announced dates of Oct. 10-13, 2020.
However they clarified that the mainstay film rights market “will be held entirely online.” Only the Entertainment Intellectual Property Market, a trading zone for a variety of early stage original content and IP, will operate as “a combined online and onsite event.”
The physical component of the E-IP Market will be held at Busan’s BEXCO Exhibition Center 2 “in compliance with proper safety protocols and quarantine guidelines set by central and local governments.”
While the centerpiece Busan International Film Festival has still not provided full details of how it will operate this year, it is becoming clear that the festival will be held at least partly with live audiences and that there will be opening and closing ceremonies. But the amount of foreign participation will be limited.
Foreign journalists were this week invited to apply for festival accreditation. But any arriving from outside the country were warned about strict ongoing health regulations. They would have to do two weeks of mandatory quarantine, at their own expense, before being able to attend the festival. Many would also face quarantine restrictions on return to their home countries.
“In accordance with the Quarantine Act and the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act by the government of the Republic of Korea, all incoming travelers regardless of nationality is subject to mandatory quarantine in their homes or quarantine facilities beginning on the date of entry and lasting for the following 14 days. Individuals using quarantine facilities should pay for the cost as per the instructions of the government of the Republic of Korea,” the festival said in an email.
Nevertheless, market organizers remained upbeat. “ACFM 2020 online enhancements will effectively spur business meetings for local and international film industry professionals who cannot physically be present due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” they said on Friday.
The E-IP activities have previously been run under multiple banners: Book To Film and E-IP Pitching, selections of original books and web content. This time it will operate as a single integrated event, covering books, webcomics, web novels, and stories.
The Friday announcement listed 17 E-IP project pitches from Korea, with a heavy emphasis on sci-fi and fantasy. Additional content pitches organized with Japan’s Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) will be revealed later.