The Korean city of Busan and Japanese city Sapporo have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on film production, distribution and training programmes within the film industry in each city.

The MoU was signed in Busan at the Asian Film Policy Forum during the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF).

The signing marked the first time that the Busan Film Commission has collaborated with another Asian city. Previously, the city had signed collaboration agreements with Australian and US cities.

'We wanted to catch up with the achievements of the Busan Film Commission. Also we hope to become the starter among Japanese film commissions to proactively develop international collaboration,' said Toshihiko Inoue, commissioner of Sapporo Film Commission.

In the initial stages, the film commission in each city will provide $16,128 (20m won) each year to fund film projects from Busan and Sapporo, according to Inoue. Recent film collaboration between the two cities took place in March this year when Japan's Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival funded Busan-based filmmaker Kim Kih-hoon in making short films jointly with two filmmakers from Sapporo.

Yubari is a city nearby Sapporo in the Hokkaido region of Japan. Inoue said the collaboration between Busan and Sapporo can be extended to the whole Hokkaido region.

'Busan has the beach and sea scenery while Hokkaido owns snow and mountain landscapes. This makes us complementary cities in providing various scenery and landscapes for filmmaking,' he said.

Direct flights between the two cities started four years ago, which offers more convenience for industry exchange.