Recently-launched film commissions from two vastly different filmmaking cultures – Cambodia and Japan – were introduced at the BIFCOM locations showcase and Film Policy Plus (FPP) in Pusan this week.

Established with finance from France’s Agency for Overseas Development, the Cambodia Film Commission (CFC) is the country’s first organisation dedicated to helping overseas productions shoot in the country.

“Cambodia is now a safe place to shoot and infrastructure is improving,” said CFC chief executive Cedric Eloy who heads the commission with director Sovichea Cheap. “You have to bring in cameras but modern lighting and grips equipment is now available locally.”

Cambodia doesn’t have the financial resources to offer production incentives, but its advantages include low costs, a wide variety of locations and no import tax for foreign film productions.

The government has also dedicated funds to help improve the local filmmaking infrastructure, which was destroyed during the Khmer Rouge years, but is now stirring back into life. Overseas productions to have recently shot in the country include German director Boje Buck’s Same Same But Different and David Fincher’s The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. It also famously hosted Tomb Raider back in 2000.

Meanwhile, the Japan Film Commission (JFC) was also out in force at BIFCOM and FPP. Launched in April, the commission aims to coordinate the efforts of the more than 100 regional film commissions that have sprouted up in Japan over the past eight years.

Although the recent change of government in Japan has slowed down introduction of new policies, the JFC is reviewing the possible introduction of incentives which are lacking in Japan. The organisation also stated its aim to increase collaboration between the Japanese film industry and the rest of Asia.

“Our newly elected prime minister commented that the new government will strengthen the relationship between Japan and other Asian countries,” said JFC chairman Ken Terawaki at FPP’s keynote speech. “As a new member of AFCNet we have a new determination to work with you, to partner with you and to discuss the issues we need to overcome in the cultural industries.”

BIFCOM (Oct 12-14) and FPP (Oct 13-14) are organised by the Busan Film Commission (BFC) and AFCNet [Asian Film Commissions Network].