Established in 1973, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) is a special organization, entrusted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea, aiming to support and promote Korean films. KOFIC is composed of nine commissioners, including one full-time chairman and 8 committee members, appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in order to discuss and decide main policies related to Korean films.
Relocation of KOFIC
Following the government’s plan for public sector relocation and balanced regional development, KOFIC’s headquarters will be relocated to Busan by the end of 2013. The future address of KOFIC will be 1466-4, Woo-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, located right next to the Busan Cinema Center.
Raising the Film Development Fund
Since July 2007, KOFIC has raised and managed the Film Development Fund, which amounts to approximately USD430 million, in order to promote and support the Korean film industry. The fund is financed by the government with USD172 million, along with USD172 million from an allotment of box office ticket sales, and USD86 million from leftover funds from previous years. The 3% allotment from ticket sales was temporarily applied for the period beginning July 1, 2007 until the end of 2014
Supporting Korean Film Production
Supporting Korean Film Production
In order to stimulate original and innovate production, KOFIC provides support programs for Korean films such as the independent film support program, the labor costs support program, and the accumulative support program for released Korean films. The independent film support program provides production costs for independent feature films, short films, and documentary films within a certain budget. The labor costs support program is an initiative designed to partially offsets labor costs for staff during production, and the accumulative support program for released Korean films is a program that supports R&D for subsequent features based on a film’s box office returns.
Supporting R&D for Korean Films
KOFIC runs an online screenplay market to provide original and new ideas for the industry and runs various contests for animation screenplays, novel adaptations by writers and scenarios dealing with traditional Korean culture. Writers can register their works on the online screenplay market (www.scenariomarket.or.kr) and sell them to investors or producers. KOFIC selects outstanding works among those submitted and provides a mentoring program to writers as well as subsidizing author’s adaptation fees. In addition, KOFIC supports R&D costs for promising mid-size production companies that have difficulty raising R&D finances.
Supporting Independent Productions and Art House Theaters
To support art house and independent films and secure the audience’s cultural rights to enjoy diverse cinematic experiences, KOFIC supports cinemas and cinematheques specializing in the screening of art house and independent films. To do so, KOFIC subsidizes 25 art houses theaters nationwide and a cinematheque in Seoul, while also directly operating and/or supporting 3 cinemas dedicated to independent film in Seoul. Besides that, KOFIC supports special screenings arranged by local organizations to provide opportunities for the local audience to watch a wide array of films.
Supporting the Release of Diverse Films and Korean Animation
KOFIC supports the release of diverse films such as art house, independent, documentary and animation films. In addition, KOFIC supports the release and screenings of Korean animation films in foreign countries.
Promotion Campaign for Legal Download Services
the film market is shifting to the digital environment, KOFIC is fostering the ancillary market by establishing a distribution platform for copyrighted online cinema content. The Ancillary Market Distribution Management System is designed to facilitate the online distribution process by promoting legal download services via web servers and to build a public online portal allowing people to easily access download services.
Furthermore, KOFIC promotes its campaign with the catchphrase “Be a good downloader”. A “Good downloader” is a person who legally downloads content from online platforms, is aware of creators’ rights of creators, and understands that content should be protected.
Investing in the Industry
The Cinema Fund provides money to various investment funds for Korean films and plays a critical role in Korean film production. KOFIC invests about USD8.9 million per year to stabilize the Korean film industry. KOFIC has invested USD43.1 million in 602 films in the last 12 years.
Supporting Global Business
Supporting the Export of Korean Films
KOFIC supports Korean films and filmmakers attending international film festivals. KOFIC runs a booth at major film markets to boost sales of Korean films and supports the marketing activities of Korean sales companies. KOFIC also holds “Korean Film Night” receptions to promote Korean films at major film festivals. In addition, KOFIC supports special screenings of Korean films arranged in foreign countries.
International PR for Korean Films
KOFIC runs offices in USA and China to use as a post for international PR and runs an English website (www.koreanfilm.or.kr), while also publishing a number of books and magazines in English (Korean Cinema, Who's Who, Korean Cinema Today). KOFIC runs an online business center, KoBiz, to provide a one-stop service for international PR for Korean films, information of foreign markets, and news for co-productions and the exports of Korean films.
Supporting International Co-Productions
KOFIC supports co-production projects during their development stage through the ‘Co-Production Development Support’ program. Selected projects (by region) are offered support in the form of script doctoring and mentoring for their development. The program was designed as a one-stop process from script development to consultation and business matching in order to find co-production partners and financiers.
KOFIC also recently began the ‘Co-Production Incentive’ in 2012 for co-produced films between Korea and other nations. In addition, KOFIC opened the ‘Film Business Center’ in Beijing, China to provide a location for Korean producers to develop their co-production projects with China.
Providing Location Incentives
KOFIC offers a 25% cash grant incentive on foreign audio-visual works that shoot on location in Korea. To be eligible for the incentive, a feature film or TV series must: be shot for more than 10 days in Korea; spend more than KRW 1 billion (approx. USD 900 thousand); and be produced by a foreign production company, in which their participation should exceed 80% of the project’s total budget.
Global Forum for Financing International Co-Productions
KOFIC holds a ‘Global Forum’ at the Busan International Film Festival to provide opportunities for the international financing of Korean co-production projects. International industry professionals in the film business are invited for presentations, seminars, and 1:1 meetings with co-production producers. A touring program that affords foreign guests a chance to visit post-production studios and famous shooting locations is also organized.
Research and Building Infrastructure
Operating the Box Office Management System
KOFIC operates the Box Office Management System to provide fast and accurate box office information and create a better and fair distribution environment for the industry. With this system, KOFIC collects ticket sales information from cinemas nationwide and provides box office information in real time.
Research and Cinema Policy
KOFIC supports various research and studies to help the Korean film industry by providing proper policies and alternative solutions for Korean cinema. KOFIC develops mid-term promotion strategies for Korean cinema and evaluates business and outcomes of the industry. KOFIC also provides vital information in the form of statistics, analysis and publications in order to research and develop new policies as well as publishing a Korean Film Yearbook, Korean Film Scenario Collection, Journals and Industry Reports.
Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA)
The Korean Academy of Film Arts was established in 1984, aiming to provide quality education to aspiring filmmakers. KAFA offers 5 courses in film directing, producing, cinematography, scriptwriting, and animation. In 2009, KAFA opened a production research course and has directly produced 4 feature films per year, which have all been screened and acclaimed at major international film festivals. Known as the “Military School of Korean Cinema”, KAFA has introduced more than 500 professionals to the industry such as IM Sang-soo, BONG Jun-ho, KIM Tae-yong, CHOI Dong-hoon, and more, who led the second renaissance of Korean cinema in the late of 1990s.
Supporting Cinema Technology
KOFIC puts its efforts on developing and disseminating core cinema technologies, including 3D, by running a program called “Moving School for Digital Technology”, which visits schools and institutions to update the status of their technology. In addition, KOFIC supports future visual technology for the Korea film industry by setting cinema technology standardization and offering a test for Industrial Engineer Projection.
KOFIC Studios in Namyangju
The KOFIC Studios in Namyangju features state-of-the-art film production services and facilities. It consists of indoor studios (1 large, 2 medium, 2 small and 1 special photography, for a total of 6 studios), outdoor sets, a recording studio, a developing room, a CG room, and a Telecine room.
Open sets in KOFIC Studios and Social Contributions
Open sets and theme parks in the KOFIC Studios are open to the public. Taking advantage of the infrastructure in the studios, KOFIC also provides programs such as a cinema camp, media education, media-experience education and hands-on programs.
Supporting Human Resources and Improving Working Environments
KOFIC offers an education/training incentive system for staff during their off-production time. The system aims to offer a professional education program to staff and supports them with unemployment benefits. KOFIC provides special education programs on acting, directing, lighting, editing, CG, and copyrights to staff and professionals in the field. It also runs an information system for people in the field, to certify careers and introduce a standard employment contract to secure staffs’ living requirements and meeting demands from the field.
Supporting Film-Related Organizations
KOFIC supports film-related communities and institutions to promote cinema culture and secure its independence. It supports not only their research works and projects on the industry, but also educational programs, film festivals, events, and international exchange for furthering relationships with overseas markets.
Improving Conditions for the Disabled
provide better conditions for the disabled, KOFIC supports cinema facilities and equipment to make subtitles and dubbing programs. KOFIC also runs Cinema on Wheels, a special program that visits remote towns or social welfare institutions to give them an opportunity to watch films.
Supporting Visual Media Education
KOFIC opened the Seoul Visual Media Center to promote the activities of citizens and students. The center provides various classes in theory for media production and making independent films. The center also provides special educational programs for people in prison or in the military, as well as handicapped and senior citizens, and migrant communities. It also supports local media centers by lending them equipment.