The Korean Film Council(KOFIC) is launching an initiative to offer funds to overseas Korean filmmakersthrough three support programmes - Low Budget Production Support, a ScriptContest and an Independent Film Contest.

Overseas ethnic Koreanfilmmakers, such as Korean-Chinese Zhang Lu and Korean-American Grace Lee, haverecently enjoyed a rising profile. Zhang's GrainIn Ear premiered in the Cannes 2005 Critics' Week while Lee's horror comedyAmerican Zombie is now in productionfor Korea's iHQ.

"The activities of overseasKorean filmmakers can play an important role in establishing film and culturalexchanges between Korea and the countries in which they work," states KOFIC. "In addition,these individuals can also provide a new impetus for the Korean film industry."

The newly launched LowBudget Production Support programme will grant a total of $100,000 to one ortwo overseas Korean directors who submit proposals for low-budget featurefilms.

The Script Contest will awardone grand prize of $10,000 and two $5,000 prizes of excellence for completedscripts for feature films. The Independent Film Contest will award $10,000 eachto two different film projects in development with a non-mainstream slant.

The Script Contest andIndependent Film Contest are co-sponsored by the Overseas Koreans Foundation,which plans to invite the five winners to the next Pusan International FilmFestival, all expenses paid. KOFIC is taking applications until July 7, 2006.