In a major initiative to nurture and encourage emerging Korean-American filmmakers, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) announced the launch of its inaugural KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab.
Inspired by similar creative environments such as the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, the KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab is seeking applicants from the U.S. and Canada with a view to realizing projects that can find audience appeal in both Korea and North America. The Lab will be held in Hawaii in early September, in partnership with the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Following in October, the Lab fellows will be brought to the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea to meet with relevant film industry representatives and organizations whom could potentially produce their projects.
"Through this incubator type project, we would be able to promote a sharing and a merging of ideas between Korean and Korean American filmmakers," states Ms. An Cheong Sook, KOFIC's chairperson. "It is important to us that through this cross cultural experience, these filmmakers will be able to establish markets and audiences on both continents."
"We are excited about this tremendous educational and professional partnership with the Korean Film Council, film industry and young filmmakers," said Chris Lee, director of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii. "It accentuates the tremendous growth of the Academy and its now global outreach. We look forward to a long and prosperous association."
Selected participants will be paired with industry mentors from both Korea and the U.S., in an intensive week-long retreat. The goal of the Filmmakers Development Lab is to enable participants to develop a high-quality script that could be presented to financiers and production companies in both countries.
"These are exciting times for filmmakers and films from non-traditional sources," said KOFIC Filmmakers Development Lab director, Roger Garcia, a well-regarded international film consultant and producer. "(The Lab) not only looks to identify the talent but also to present real-world scenarios to participants in developing and presenting their projects."
The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2006.
The Korean Film Council is based in Seoul, Korea with a satellite office in Los Angeles. Its mission is to raise the standard of Korean films, and to promote the Korean film industry at home and abroad. KOFIC provides and supports programs to develop creative filmmakers, improve the production of low-budget films, raise the profile of Korean cinema, and create a network between filmmakers in the Korean, overseas Korean and international communities.
The Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii, founded just three years ago, emphasizes digital cinema, computer animation and videogame design, and critical studies. Its student films have been screened at major national and international festivals. It is developing a Center for Indigenous Filmmaking, which will embrace storytellers from Hawaii, the Pacific and Asia.