The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is set to receive an increase in government funding to offset the effects of the economic downturn anddiminishing corporate sponsorship.

The total of government funding for PIFF from the city and national governments has increased from $3.26m last year to $4.47m this year.

Central government funding, after an evaluation of film festivals last year, was increased by $208,800 to $1.25m. Busan Metropolitan City has increased its funding by about $1m to $3.22m for this year’s budget.

‘The organising committee [which includes the Busan mayor] met and agreed that whatever happened, PIFF’s budget shouldn’t be reduced. So they have increased the city’s funding support to offset any potential drops in corporate sponsorship,’ said Jay Jeon, deputy director and World Cinema programmer at PIFF.

He went on to explain that committee members and regional media had helped by voicing their support for the festival.

The festival’s originally announced overall budget of approximately $6m remains the same. The festival aims to make up the rest of the budget with other revenue such as corporate sponsorship, ticket sales and Asian Film Market fees.

In recent years, the regional government has made it a major initiative to create an ‘Asian visual media hub’ in Busan. Towards this end, the Busan Film Commission has been facilitating the location shoots of the large majority of local films and bringing in foreign shoots such as the Japanese blockbuster Hero. Busan also recently saw the opening of high tech post-production facilities called AZWorks on the Beach.