The pioneering Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) is to produce four feature-length films instead of the usual shorts this year.

The school believes hands-on practical experience of the full-length film-making process will better equip students for work in the industry.

CJ Cultural Foundation and CJ CGV have backed the four films with $140,500 of their total $432,000 budget. They have a first-look option to distribute the films commercially.

'KAFA has always been a school for practical learning, and we started this so our graduating students could get the most benefit - differentiated from other film schools and media-related departments at universities,' said Park Ki-yong, head of the academy.

The most ambitious of the projects is The Story Of Mr Sorry - an animation based on a short story by the Korean pop singer Lee Juk, posted on his blog.

The story was also published in book form with illustrations, and then adapted into a manga, unrelated to KAFA's project.

Award-winning animation director Lee Sung-kang (Mari Story) is supervising the $301,000 film.

'People mostly think animation requires a lot of time and money, but we want to show that even students, with a little help, can do artistic and interesting work at low budgets. We hope to reinvigorate the animation industry with this new model,' said Park.

Six students worked together to develop the script, and afterwards each took on different roles in direction, animation, background, art, and production. They are backed up by 24 professional animators.

The projects are currently in post, due for completion in April.