South Korean production/talent management company MP Entertainment has announced the formation of an ambitious $41.7m (WON 50bn) film production fund, which is expected to greatly boost its profile in the rapidly-evolving Korean industry.
With capital to be provided by parent company J&C Holdings, MP Entertainment intends to devote $16.7m to in-house productions and the remaining $25m to outside product, with a strong emphasis on movies featuring actors represented by the firm's talent management division.
The announcement has been read as a sign that the Korean film industry is still rich with cash, despite indications that many venture capital companies may be planning a withdrawal. A glut in film finance dating from last year has resulted in a jump in production levels and a large number of film funds which will continue to operate for the next 2-3 years.
First established as Taeyeon Communications in 1996, MP Entertainment was re-launched in November 2001, at which time it announced a strategic partnership with distributor Korea Pictures. The company's talent management company represents top stars such as Jang Dong-gun, Shin Hyun-joon and Ko So-young.
Its first feature Lovers' Concerto was co-produced with Popcorn Film and grossed $8.2m on its release in September. It is scheduled to be introduced to buyers at MIFED by sales company Cineclick Asia.
MP Entertainment's upcoming slate also includes $1.3m-budgeted soccer film Season In The Sun and two films in development: horror director Ahn Byung-ki's third film, and the feature debut of well-known music video director Kim Se-hoon.