South Korean regional film commissions and entertainment industry groups have organised to launch Film Korea today (Aug 12) at the Jecheon International Music Film Festival.

The new organisation aims to promote Korea as a location for foreign productions as well as converge the separate sectors of film, TV drama, manhwa (manga), animation and gaming.

Film Korea is a collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organizations, with founding members that include South Korea’s 10 film commissions such as those of Seoul, Busan, Jeonju, and Jeju, as well as the Korea Film Producers Association (KFPA), the Corea Drama Production Association (CODA), the Producers Guild of Korea (PGK), and the Federation of Korean Movie Workers’ Union (FKMWU).

Film Korea is taking what was loosely started in 2004 as a council of Korean film commissions a step further.

“The council that existed before had no organization to do what really needed to be done. For instance, bring together locations, studios, and human resources. The Korean Film Council and the Korea Creative Content Agency are more focused on export [of films and TV content respectively]. We want to open up all the facets of the industry and focus on industry marketing and create a brand for Korea,” says Hong Sung Weon, managing director at Seoul Film Commission and newly appointed secretary general at Film Korea.

Veteran filmmaker and head of the Seoul Film Commission Lee Jang-ho [pictured] was elected as the first head of Film Korea.

“We are experiencing a new paradigm shift. The visual content industry can no longer be realized by government policy alone, and we must open an era of full-scale cooperation with local governments. Moreover, in an age when content convergence is spreading rapidly, it is highly important to have cooperation and tuning between sectors and genres, but there was no vessel in which to put or lead this at a governmental level. As a cooperative association between governmental and non-governmental organizations that will adapt and accommodate the industry’s changes to immediately reflect them in policy, Film Korea will become a new alternative for visual content policy,” said Lee.

The new organization plans to register with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and for the time being will be housed in the Seoul Film Commission’s offices.