The Busan Film Commission (BFC) has announced 24 feature films and 37 other works of visual media shot on location last year in South Korea’s second city for a total of 698 days - up 177% year-on-year. Feature films included CJ Entertainment’s summer sci-fi thriller Deranged and Showbox’s mega box office hit The Thieves [pictured].

Host to the Busan International Film Festival, the southern port city has been aiming to become an Asian media hub with location services that have been known to obligingly shut down the Gwang-an bridge and clear the front of government buildings for lengthy car chase shoots. The city also has post-production services that include the recently added 3D production center’s digital bay at Busan Cinema Studios.

In addition to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) locations incentive of 30% cash rebates, BFC offers assistance in researching and scouting locations.

Four co-productions and foreign films shot in Busan last year – the city’s first Chinese film, Lemon, directed by Zhang Jiarui, Indonesian film Hello Goodbye, directed by Titien Wattimena, and two Korea-Japan co-productions - Destiny (working title), directed by Bae Taesoo, and Seol-hae (working title), directed by Kim Jungkwon.

With the red carpet premiere of Jack Reacher held yesterday in Busan – a first in recent memory for Hollywood films that traditionally take their stars to Seoul – the city’s mayor Hur Nam-shik awarded honorary citizenship to Tom Cruise, Christopher MacQuarrie and Rosamund Pike.

KOFIC and the Korea Media Ratings Board both are due to move from Seoul to Busan by October this year and the city expects this to add a further boost in support for its aims to become an Asian media hub.