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Korean Delight

If you’re looking for a fresh, new destination with strong production support, Gyeonggi-do province in South Korea may be what you’re looking for. Jump in while it’s still unexplored

It sounds like a tongue-twister but the truth is, Gyeonggi-do is a simple beautiful locale hidden within its boundaries, yet-to-be-explored by travellers. The province has many faces of grandeur, from nature at its best to some of the tallest skyscrapers, emblematic Korean-style facades and a culture that’s varied.

Gyeonggi-do is the most populous province in South Korea and its provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul is located in the heart of the province but is administered separately as a special city. The entire area has been divided in two halves by the River Han. The topography is different for both – while the north is mainly mountainous, the southern area is plains.

The province has long been the capital of historic relics and ruins which have been meticulously preserved and reveal a lot about the history of the country. Traditionally known as ‘The City of Filial Piety’, the skyline of Suwon as seen from the Hwaseong Fortress is very picturesque. From small tribal settlements, today the city is a major industrial hub, bustling with the best places for entertainment and the only walled city left in South Korea. As such, the city walls are the epitome of the tourist destination in the province.

Other attractions include the Korean Folk Village in the city of Yongin, which is a live museum displaying artefacts of Korean living and culture. What’s more – Seongnam, the second largest city of the province and the first planned city in the history of Korea – embraces vast recreational areas in conjunction with commercial buildings and colourful homes.

The configuration of Gyeonggi-do’s pristine panorama is credited to the rivers, mountain range, national parks and old-fashioned facades that have a history of their own. Not many international movies can be named, which have captured this place on reel. So the setting is new and fresh. And all this is made more alluring with the benefits offered by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) to international producers.

Gyeonggi-do actively invests its resources on fostering the visual culture industry. Ever since it began addressing a master plan for fostering the cultural industry of the province, Gyeonggi-do extends its investments in high-quality facilities for the film industry every year. The province consists of many outskirt cities surrounding Seoul including Bucheon city, where the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) is held. Namyangju Film Studios, the oldest film studio in Korea, and Paju Art Service Film Studios (owned by Art Service, a branch of Cinema Service) are also located in the region.

SUPPORT PROGRAMMES

KOFIC has support programmes for various stages of filmmaking. Infrastructure (script, investment fund financing), Production (art films, HD films, independent films, international co-productions, low-budget), Marketing & Distribution, Exhibition and International Promotion are the divisions for which aid is provided to production houses.

International Co-production Film Support Programme

• Goal: To create a diverse film production-funding method from the revitalising of international co-production, KOFIC created this programme by helping Korean films for overseas entry to the global film market

• Overview: Feature-length, live-action films, in pre-production/planning stage, meant for theatrical exhibition, with a production budget of below 3,000,000,000 KRW with investments from at least two countries including Korea are eligible. These films must be compatible with Korea’s Film Promotion Law and KOFIC’s regulations. The Korean producer must be registered according to the Film Promotion Law, and have a co-production contract with at least one overseas production company.

Two films can be selected once a year. Each film can receive up to 50 per cent of its budget, in cash, within the limit of 200,000,000 KRW. (Budgets cannot include office rent/operation costs, script copyright/development fees, print production costs, publicity/marketing costs, etc.)

Marketing Support for Diversity

• Goal: KOFIC provides support for marketing (P&A) costs towards the stable exhibition and distribution of films produced in diverse formats that can contribute to Korean culture

• Overview: Film and digital media projects of 60 minutes or more in length which are preparing for theatrical release are eligible. The films must be planned to be released on a maximum of 20 screens nationwide. Film festivals are not eligible. KOFIC provides support for up to 10 films a year. A maximum of six analog-screened films and a maximum of four digitally-screened films using DLP. Selections are made twice a year, in each half of the year, with a total budget 400,000,000 KRW.

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