The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced that it is providing $795,000 (KW1.08bn) towards the 29 screens that it has selected for its Artplus Cinema Network funding scheme for this year.
The sum will be split according to how many seats each screen has and whether or not they are housed in multiplexes.
The 29 screens are spread across 27 theatres nationwide, ranging from independent arthouse theatres such as Spongehouse, Cinecube and SangSang Madang to multiplex chains such as CJ CGV, Megabox and Lotte Cinema.
With the aim of promoting diversity in Korean cinema, the Artplus Cinema Network requires participating screens to show ‘diversity films’ - ie art, independent or low-budget films - for at least 219 days a year, including at least 70 days of Korean diversity films.
A total of 44 theatres applied and a committee of experts in the field evaluated them on standards including technical competence, location and business operations.
The selection committee stated: ‘In the case of the multiplexes, we entreat them to use the support funds for publicity and programming costs only, so that they may play a central role in lowering the psychological threshold for audiences, and securing and increasing art film viewers from more diverse walks of life.’