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Busan set to launch int'l film hub

South Korea's southern port city of Busan is gearing up to establish an international film hub in the coming years, city officials said Monday.

Construction will begin next year to build the tentatively named "International Image Contents Valley" near Busan's Centum City areas and the nearby Gijang region for research and development activities for film contents, an official of the Busan Metropolitan Government said.

The city will be home to several research institutes by 2017 in charge of developing relevant technologies such as virtual reality and creating new images as well as a center for training Asian talents in the field, the official said.

A large-scale studio complex will also be established by 2020, equipped with diverse film-related facilities, including state-of-the-art movie sets and accommodations, he said.

Aimed at promoting the industry over the Asian region as a whole, some 50 billion won ($44.96 million) in funds will be raised by 2018, the official added.

"We need to devise measures actively and effectively for the image-based contents industry in line with its fast changing paradigm," he said. "We expect the creation of an international hub to help us become Asia's central city for films and a major global tourist attraction."

Busan has been recognized as the host city of Asia's largest film festival, the Busan International Film Festival, since 1996.

The 17th festival of its kind will begin Thursday for a 10-day run to solidify its stature as the largest film festival in Asia. (Yonhap News)
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