South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports has named critic and professor Cho Hee-moon as the new chairman of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

Currently a professor at Inha University’s department of drama and film, the 52-year-old Cho was formerly vice chairman of KOFIC (1999-2002), a member of the Korea Media Ratings Board and a member of president Lee Myung-bak’s inauguration transition committee.

KOFIC’s chairman position was vacated when Kang Han-sup resigned July 2 following criticism and controversy within the local film industry, as well as the KOFIC labour union, along with an unfavourable governmental evaluation of his management of the promotional body.

Since then, vice chairman Shim Sang-min had been substituting as de facto chairman.

Cho will carry out the chairman’s duties until what would have been the end of Kang’s original term, May 27, 2011.

The six KOFIC council members, who also tendered their resignations around the same time as Kang, are also soon to be replaced.