Busan’s Asian Contents and Film Market for the second year in a virtual format started on Monday. But covid-applied limitations may not be a barrier.
The market stalls run by the sales company are virtual, and many Korean vendors will be based in Seoul instead of traveling to Busan. But the e-IP pitching segment will be held directly and on site.
The four-day ACFM will feature keynote presentations and conversations by Old Boy Director Park Chan-Uk, as well as industry executives from companies including Walt Disney, China’s IQI and Korea Teaching, and Korea Telecom.
In the first virtual year, the market welcomed 205 companies (buyers and sellers) from Korea and abroad, transacting 833 different types of content. The event is expected to be even bigger this year, both as the industry becomes more comfortable using a virtual platform for a marketplace, and because of the growing interest in co-culture that K-Pop winner BTS has followed TV’s “Squid Game” and ” The film won an Oscar with “Parasite”.
Organizers reported 1,389 registered participants from 52 countries, an increase of 57% over the previous year. They reported that 200 companies and sales outlets have registered for online booths. Among them, they will be screening 318 markets. Some 112 festival selections are available by registered market participants for online screening.
“If we take the example of the ‘squid game’, we can’t deny the global popularity of K-content,” said Dong Chul, the festival’s program director and former executive of the market.
Busan’s move to accommodate content other than pure feature film within Busan has been going on for several years. Indicating that intention, the market changed its name from Asian Film Market to Asian Contents and Film Market in 201 Asian. And before that the e-IP section was added.
“We acknowledged that expanding our market to include drama, novels and web tones was essential. Of course, diving doesn’t make sense to bring film and TV professionals together, but there is a sweet spot where there is a combination between the two industries that we can start exploring.
The biggest (voluntary) innovation this year is the launch of the on-screen section, which hosts the main show from the OTT platform, including Netflix’s “Hellbound”, a fantasy thriller from Yen Sang-ho, the director of “Train to Busan” and HBO Asia “By Anucha Buniawatana of Thailand and Korean-American Josh Kim based in Korea.
The travel bans are strengthening the Korean attention of both the Busan Festival and the ACFM. “Because of Kovid, we invited fewer foreign guests, maybe only 5% more than before, and we had to run an online marketplace. But we hope to be able to operate at 0-80% power next year, if conditions allow, ”said Nam.
He says there have been discussions in the past about a possible partnership with Broadcast Worldwide (BCWW) and Busan Content Market, two more major content sales events in Korea. “It’s understandable and we thought about it. However, there are different organizations in charge of these markets and it is not easy to combine objectives, ”said Nam,“ Film is still our primary focus and we will not move too far from there. Instead, we will build what we have and continue to expand slowly.