The Korean Film Commission has unveiled a long-term initiative to promote Asian film industries, to be launched at the upcoming Pusan International Film Festival.

The Asian Film Industry Network (AFIN) which will launch in association with the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) which runs November 19-20, will initially function as an annual series of meetings and seminars to examine ways to promote increased co-operation and exchange among Asian film industries.

Delegates from South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran will also try to identify concrete steps that can be taken to encourage co-productions and the overall expansion of Asian film industries. Other Asian countries will also be encouraged to join the informal network.

“Asia has no regional organisations or funds to support its film industries such as Eurimages or MEDIA Programme in Europe,” says Sandy Kang of the Korean Film Commission’s (KOFIC) International Promotion Department. “If this network is successful, we hope it may lead someday to the establishment of something similar for Asia. We also hope to encourage co-production treaties.”

Panel discussions at the PPP this November are to examine film support policies in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore; the impact of the WTO on Asian film industries; and an overview of support policies for Eurimages and MEDIA Programme in Europe. Conference delegates will also explore the potential of a film network and future courses of action for the AFIN.

“We’re at the very beginning, and so we don’t yet have a clear idea of which course to take,” says Kang. “However, we feel that an informal network could do much to help Asian industries develop.”