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The proposed budget for the culture in 2024 is met with stiff resistance

Sep 26, 2023
  • Source by Cine21
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The film festival coalition's protests are set to continue

 


Opening ceremony of the Busan International Film Festival (Image: Choi Sung-youl for Cine21)

 

 

The Coalition of Domestic Film Festivals (tentatively named) p its support for the withdrawal of the budget reduction for the 2024 film festival support proposed by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) on September 21st. Following the joint statement issued on September 13th, a total of 56 film festivals, including Busan International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, and Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, along with 117 organizations and 2,249 individuals (made of 1,114 film industry professionals and 1,135 audience members) participated in the second round of protests.

 

On September 21st, the Coalition of Domestic Film Festivals (tentative name) presented a second petition calling upon the Korean Film Council's (KOFIC) to reconsider the budget cuts it suggested for its 2024 film festival sponsorship program. Following the release of the joint statement on September 13th, a total of 56 film festivals, including the Busan International Film Festival, the Jeonju International Film Festival, and the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as 117 organizations and 2,249 individuals (made up of 1,114 film industry professionals and 1,135 movie-goers), added their name to the petition.

 

According to the 2024 budget proposal filed to the National Assembly in September, the funding for KOFIC's domestic and international film festival development assistance program is planned to be decreased to around KRW 2.8 billion, half of the current year's budget. It would also lower the number of local and foreign film festivals that would benefit from it from the current 40 to about 20. Concerns have been made concerning the negative implications of these shifts on film creation, distribution, and cinema culture as a whole.


The Film Festival Coalition, in a joint statement, demanded that the decision to cut KOFIC's 2024 film festival support budget by 50% be reversed, stating that "the budget should be restored, and discussions should be initiated immediately to promote film festivals and the development of film culture."

They stated in their collective and individual statements on September 13th that film festivals have served as a cradle for numerous creators, ranging from directors who have achieved the mythical 10 million admission threshold like Kang Je-kyu, Bong Joon-ho, Ryoo Seung-wan, Kim Han-min, Yeon Sang-ho, and Lee Byoung-heon, to those who are overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and creating opportunities for the resurgence of Korean cinema, including Um Tae-hwa (Concrete Utopia), Jason Yu (Sleep), Min Yong-geun (Soulmate), July Jung (Next Sohee), and Han Jun-hee (Netflix series D.P.). 

Their fear is that "the reduction in film festival support will not only have a critical short-term impact on film culture but will also lead to negative consequences for the film industry in the long run”. As a result, the Film Festival Coalition's appeal for the retraction of budget cutbacks and an increase in support, as well as their third round of demonstrations, are anticipated to continue in the future.


By Kim So-mi
Republication, copying or redistribution by any means is prohibited without the prior permission of KOFIC and the original news source.
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