The Korea Creative Contents Agency (KOCCA) has announced that The Host 2 is the winner of its Global Projects Technology Development Support Program.

The programme grants government funds of $1.51m to production company Chungeorahm and its CGI partner Macrograph to research and develop CGI for The Host 2 by May 2011.

Chungeorahm and Macrograph are to put up $488,095 in what the agency calls a matching funds scheme.

Bong Joon-ho’s original The Host, also produced by Chungeorahm, was a blockbuster thriller which used CGI from California-based company The Orphanage. It clocked up 13 million admissions and sold to 134 countries.

Macrograph, which is partnering with Chungeorahm on the CGI and special effects for the sequel, has worked on local and overseas films such as The Restless, The Forbidden Kingdom and Hanbando.

In KOCCA’s announcement the agency describes The Host 2 as a prequel to what happens in Bong’s original, going back to the incident where toxic waste is let out into the Han River and the mutant is born.

Chungeorahm also has an MOU with Singaporean production company Boku Films for co-production and a $5m investment, half of which will be provided by Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA).

Na Moon-sung, head of KOCCA’s Cultural Technology department said: “We expect this project to acquire competitiveness comparable to overseas films in not only visual quality but also production efficiency, and anticipate this will upgrade the overall level of the Korean CGI industry.”

The Host 2 is being lined up for a 2011 release.