South Korean distributor Next Entertainment World (N.E.W.) and Gyeonggi Performing & Film Commission have formed a partnership to create a KW20bn ($16.02m) investment fund specializing in visual contents.

N.E.W. and the Gyeonggi Performing & Film Commission signed a deal to jointly invest a total of KW7bn ($5.61m) and agreeing to become strategic partners for Korean film investment and production. They plan to complete financing for the fund by August.

Head of the commission, Cho Jae-hyun (better known as the actor who starred in films such as Kim Ki-duk’s Bad Guy) said, “This is the first time a regional government body has invested public funds and brought in private capital. We are going to invest actively in premium content through cooperation with N.E.W., which has become a new vital energy in the Korean film market with its specialist investment and distribution know-how.”

Head of N.E.W. David Suh said, “In a disproportional market centered on conglomerates, N.E.W. will take this as a starting point towards making a place for itself as a sturdy backup force in Korean film investment.”

Last year, N.E.W. took 5.8% of South Korea’s box office. It distributed 17 films which included The Twilight Saga: New Moon and local films Lifting King Kong and Fortune Salon, both of which the company invested in.

Surrounding the South Korean capital of Seoul, Gyeonggi Province is also home to Incheon International Airport and satellite city Bucheon, where the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) is held each July.