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Busan Aims to Become City of Films by 2008

2006/09/15 | Permalink | Source

Busan will be reborn as "the city of film production" by late 2008 after it has been equipped with facilities for putting the finishing touches on movies. On Friday, the city said that next month would mark the beginning of the process to design the facilities, which will be built in the Cine-Port complex in Haeundae.

The southern port city has rapidly grown into a global cinematic city since it began hosting the Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival. Now it is seeing dozens of movies shot in the city every year.

The new facilities will be built in a three-story building on a lot measuring some 7,000 square meters. Construction will start in June next year--with the aim of completing the facilities in July 2008--after completing the design by March next year. Currently, the city is conducting an internal deliberation to select a design company by next month. The design process is expected to cost 16 billion won, a quarter of which will be funded by the government.

The facilities will include equipment for film development, editing, previews, computer graphics, and even transmitting a completed film directly to the screen. And in response to the rapid move toward digital film, the city will ensure that digital movies are handled as well.

The facilities will be completed in three stages -- film development, editing and preview rooms by July 2008, computer graphics equipment by 2009 and recording equipment by 2011. But the city said the devices needed for digital movies will be set up at the "proper time", considering the rapid advancements in relevant technology. "We decided to wait and watch when it comes to the equipment for digital movies because relevant technologies are rapidly developing", a city official said.

The city also plans to jointly invest, along with the private sector, in a third company that will be responsible for the operation of the facilities. A consortium of an established Korean company and a foreign company would accelerate the transfer of advanced technology and foster relevant industries, it explained.

With the new facilities, the city will be able to generate more value-added services. It has not benefited from local film shoots because, although some 30 feature films and 40 short films are shot there every year, the absence of facilities for finishing the movies leaves movie makers no alternative but to go elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Samsung Economic Institute conducted a study in 2004 of the potential effects of the new facilities in Busan, which found that they could increase production by 16.4 billion won, generate value-added services worth 15.3 billion won and create 1,106 more jobs.

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