During the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), screenings of invited works and many interesting events take place, including a conference to discuss the development direction of the film festival from an academic perspective. Our reporter was there when people from the Pusan film industry and the academic world got together to analyze and evaluate the present status of Pusan as the city of movies and the PIFF.
On Sept. 8 to 16, the 14th PIFF was held in the Haeundae and Nampodong areas. This year's film festival showed an increase in size in terms of its international foothold - 355 films were invited from 70 countries and domestically and internationally famous directors as well as actors/actresses were in attendance.
Additionally, Kyungsung University and Pukyong National University held the "Third Pusan International Conference", during the festival, hosted by the Asian Film Institute. On the first day, a conference was held with the theme of "movie city marketing", which was attended by professors in the field of movies, advertising and marketing of universities in Pusan and representatives of the Asian Film Institute. The aim was to assess achievements that the PIFF has made over the past decade and analyze Pusan's significance as a city of movies. Described below is the conference atmosphere and some of the important issues discussed during the conference.
Competitiveness that Pusan has to have as a city of movies
"It is necessary to provide a support program for studios and the production system and to establish the culture infrastructure necessary for Pusan to develop into a city specializing in the film industry". ? Professor Nam In-Yong, Department of Mass Communications in Pukyong National University.
"Pusan International Film Festival has become a one-time event where the opening, closing and invited films failed to emphasize the specific characteristics and consistency of the PIFF. I think development of the PIFF can be enhanced with collaboration between researchers and professors from the film industry and academia in the planning and development stages of the film festival. And if the festival is run in a consistent manner the resulting feedback from the research could form the platform for future improvements".
Professor Nam In-Yong from the department of mass communications in Pukyong National University kicked off the conference as its first speaker. He went on to explain his thoughts on the matter of how to develop the PIFF.
"During the past ten years, Pusan has been successful in establishing itself as a city of movies through the PIFF but, in fact, it has failed to contribute to development of the region's film and media infrastructure. Every year more than 3,000 students graduate from movie and media related departments, but currently the Pusan film industry cannot accommodate all of them. In order for Pusan to develop into a city specializing in the film and media industry, it is not only necessary to ensure convenience of the production environment, such as providing funding for the location shooting and providing low-cost extras, but also to provide a support program for studios and the production system and establish the proper cultural infrastructure. I propose that we create a culture belt around Haeundae. If Pusan Biennale theatre, which is the main building of the City Museum of Pusan, is placed in Haeundae and exclusively used as the space for international events, the brand value of Pusan as a city of movies will dramatically increase".
"More movies should be made in Pusan and more production companies need to be established to promote Pusan as a city of movies". ? Professor Kim Yi-Suk, Department of Cinema in Dongeui University.
"In many cases, Pusan became the background of gangster movies like "Friend"
and "Bloody Tie
". And scenes featuring it tend to depict Jagalchi Fish Market or the rundown old buildings and apartments. Therefore, underdeveloped aspects of the city have been excessively highlighted. More movies should be made in Pusan and more production companies need to be established there to leave the impression on people's mind that Pusan is the city of movies".
"The vision of making Pusan the 'hub of Asian movies' is possible if it becomes the channel for planning, production, distribution and screening of Asian movies. Once we achieve this, I think Pusan will see economic development as well as contributing to balanced regional development". ? Ms. Kwon Su-Mi, Researcher in the Asian Film Institute.
"The PIFF is now over ten years old and it has a long way to go. We need to make the most use of Pusan as a maritime city and also use the network of the PIFF to achieve the vision of it becoming the "hub for Asian movies". This vision is possible if it becomes the channel for planning, production, distribution and screening of Asian movies. Once we achieve this, I think Pusan will see economic development as well as contributing to balanced regional development. The Asian Film Institute will expand means of exchange with Fukuoka, which is located close to Pusan and has a strong media infrastructure for games, animation and movies. Additionally, we plan to develop talents in the Asian film industry through the Asian Film Academy".
"From the marketing perspective, support needs to be provided to more satisfy Pusan citizens' needs".- Professor Kim Chun-Kil, Department of Business Administration in Kyungsung University.
"From the marketing perspective, let's take a look at over the ten years the PIFF has been in existence. What matters in marketing is the Internal marketing aiming at satisfaction of individual members within the concerned organization. The PIFF should have encouraged active participation of Pusan citizens and satisfied their needs, not just those of people directly involved in the film industry. It, however, failed to do so in terms of internal marketing. Of course, participation of people from non-Pusan areas is also important, but the satisfaction of Pusan citizens, however, should be the priority. In this regard, we need supports".
Following the conclusion of the presentations, there was a Q&A session, and professor Park Jong-Hyun from Japan's Hosei University drew attention with the following statement, "Fukuoka has been holding two film festivals every year and has been there before the PIFF began, but the effect on the film industry has been negligible. Therefor
the success of the PIFF provides the opportunity for Asia's cities to achieve their dreams". He added, "Japan's film industry is envious of the current level of development achieved by the South Korean film industry, and they are assessing and benchmarking the successful media and film management of the PIFF".
This conference was meaningful because it provided the opportunity to assess the present status of Pusan as the city of movies, and also look at how people from the outside view Pusan during the Q&A session.
[Interview] President of the Asian Film Institute, Kim Jin-Hae (Professor in the Department of Theater and Cinema in Kyungsung University)
Kim Jin-Hae, president of the Asian Film Institute, the host venue for the conference, met with us to discuss the institute and Pusan as the city of movies.
WeCon: What was the objective behind the establishment of the Asian Film Institute?
President of the Asian Film Institute Kim Jin-Hae: The PIFF is in its 14th year, and it seeks to establish itself at the center of the Asian film industry. What is the identity of Asian movies? What is aesthetics? These sort of academic questions haven't been dealt with before. We needed to think about the internal concerns as well as the exterior part of the PIFF, which is why we created the Asian Film Institute consisting of movie scholars, directors and filming staff.
The biggest event is the PIFF conference that is held every autumn, and this year marks its third year. Scholars from Japan, China, the Philippines, and the U.S. get together to discuss Asian film policies for one day and spend another day talking about Asian aesthetics and identity. Pretty soon a book will be published with contributions from Korean and other Asian scholars detailing the significant conclusions of these discussions.
WeCon: Is this the first time that the theme was movie, marketing and PR?
President of the Asian Film Institute Kim Jin-Hae: Yes. At the last conference, the theme was the Asian and South Korean film industry's policies. This time we decided to talk about advertisement, PR and marketing and its relevance to movies, and since we are doing it in Pusan, we included Pusan city, as well.
WeCon: What achievements have been made by the PIFF conference?
President of the Asian Film Institute Kim Jin-Hae: I think it's meaningful that there is new interest in researching film theory and film aesthetics related to Pusan thanks to the PIFF.
WeCon: What are some of the areas that need improvement in order for Pusan to strengthen its status as a city of movies?
President of the Asian Film Institute Kim Jin-Hae: Pusan succeeded in strengthening its image and brand as the city of movies, but this failed to contribute to the local film industry. We need to start over if we want to make Pusan into a city that can produce films on its own. I think we should increase the volume of the Pusan film industry by attracting overseas orders through aggressive overseas marketing and not just relying on domestic movie production. This will create jobs in Pusan and establish the basis for the local film industry.
WeCon: Where do most of the graduates majoring in film and media in Pusan find jobs?
President of the Asian Film Institute Kim Jin-Hae:Overall 70~80% of the film industry is concentrated in Seoul. If Pusan creates new jobs then it stands to reason that more students will be able to find employment here. Most graduates from media and movie-related majors wish to find jobs in the relevant fields, and unlike in the past, when everyone wanted to become directors, students are now interested in diverse areas. Professors encourage students to become experts in their field. Also, we encourage them to choose in-depth and professional areas like planning, post-production technology, color calibration, computer graphics, filming, etc
The Source : KOCCA