Fund forms part of a creative innovation drive in Busan.

Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, parent to major film investor/distributor Lotte Entertainment and exhibitor Lotte Cinema, is set to create a $35m (KW40bn) fund for films and visual content.

South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye announced the fund today (March 16) as part of a creative innovation drive in Busan.  

Often regionally identified with the professional baseball team that it owns – Busan-based Lotte Giants, the Korean family-run conglomerate is headquartered in Seoul and Tokyo. Its businesses include confectioneries, electronics, department stores, hotels, discount retailers, fast food restaurants and construction.

Lotte Group is set to contribute half the fund with Busan Bank and Busan City making up the other half.

Park said the fund will support “all stages from content planning to production, investment, distribution and exhibition, and sharply expand screening opportunities through specialized screening spaces in order to make the dreams of creative film industry people and creators come true.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony for a creative economy innovation centre in Busan, the president said she expected the city to become an international hub for films and visual content.

The event was attended by Busan City mayor Seo Byeong-soo, Lotte Group chairman Dong-bin Shin, national assembly members and presidential advisors including Kim Dong-ho, who heads the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment and is Busan International Film Festival’s honorary director.

Paramount struck a deal with Lotte Entertainment earlier this month for them to handle all the US studio’s films in Korea.