Korean major Cinema Service has launched a new subsidiary, Big Blue Film, that will focus on the distribution of local features. The company will be headed by Choi Yong-bae, former head of distribution at Cinema Service, and will aspire to a slate of ten films per year.

Ownership of Big Blue Film ("Cheong-eo-ram" in Korean) will be split between Cinema Service (50%), Terasouce Venture Capital (40%) and a collection of individual investors.

Initially, the company will distribute titles produced by Cinema Service and financed by Terasouce through its subsidiary I Pictures. Big Blue Film also intends to distribute films from outside companies, and from the end of 2002 the company is planning a move into local production.

Big Blue Film's first release, scheduled for mid-January, is the ambitious animated feature My Beautiful Girl, Mari (pictured) directed by Lee Sung-gang. A nostalgic drama about a boy who loses himself in a world of fantasy, the film is majority funded by I Pictures and will be sold internationally by Cinema Service.

Cinema Service has noted that the spinoff will allow it to provide more individual attention to its rapidly expanding slate of local and imported titles. Cinema Service will continue to distribute the majority of its own features, as well as those produced by Sidus Corp., which is grouped together with Cinema Service under the corporate umbrella of Locus Holdings.