Busan Film Festival and Chinese video platform Youku to sign MOU on Asia’s Masters and Newcomers Project

Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has announced it will sign an MOU with Youku, also known as the YouTube of China, to launch the Asia’s Masters and Newcomers Project. The signing ceremony will take place Oct 4 during the 19th BIFF.

BIFF and Youku are aiming to discover and nurture new Asian directors with the MOU. From 2015 to 2017, the Asia’s Masters and Newcomers Project will give financial support to four new directors and four established ones to produce short films.

With the signing of the MOU, the plan is that BIFF will select two Asian Film Academy (AFA) filmmakers and Youku will choose two others elsewhere. BIFF and Youku will finish selecting directors by the end of the year and have them start production from the first half of next year.

The eight completed shorts will premiere at BIFF. Youku will select one finalist from amongst the new directors and finance a feature film for them.

In July, South Korea and China signed a co-production agreement which, according to Asian Film Market head Jay Jeon, has resulted in a flurry of activity and interest from Chinese companies eager to attend Busan and work with Koreans.

“Since president Xi Jinping’s visit to Korea and the signing of the Korea-China co-production agreement, there’s been a surge of interest in Busan from Chinese film business people,” he said at the BIFF press conference in early Sept.

Youku and Heyi Films moved quickly to sponsor the China Meets Korea in Busan event while iQiyi is holding a China Night Party in Busan as well.

Victor Koo, Youku founder and CEO since 2005, will be on hand at the MOU signing ceremony which will take place during the China Meets Korea in Busan event at the Haeundae Grand Hotel, 8PM, Oct 4.

BIFF opens tomorrow (Oct 2) and will run until Oct 11. The Market will run Oct 5-8.