Independent and Artistic Film Distribution Platform, Indieground

Republic of Korea
Korean Film Council, The Association of Korean Independent Film & Video
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
Korean independent and artistic films are well received by audiences and critics for their cinematic quality. Nevertheless, there is a severe imbalance in promotion, marketing and distribution, with more than 25% of the annual production of independent and art films (about 1,000 films) excluded from screening opportunities. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie consumption behavior has quickly shifted from movie theaters to online-based such as VOD and OTT. This raised the need to establish an online platform to improve the distribution environment, to support production costs for independent and art films, as well as to operate a dedicated theater. Accordingly, in 2019, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a plan to build a public online platform through the 「Korean Film Industry Development Plan」 to respond to the issues of audience access to independent and art films (expanding audience’s choice) and decreasing opportunities for creators to perform. In addition, Korean Film Council newly organized a budget for ‘Comprehensive Support for Distribution of Independent and Art Films’ in 2020 and opened ‘Indieground’, a public distribution platform for independent and art films. Indieground, which is entrusted to The Association of Korean Independent Film & Video, improves the distribution environment of Korean independent and art films, and operates with the aim of spreading social value of independent and art films and establishing a network hub. Indieground creates an information database (DB) of independent and art films, and operates a Library which holds free community screenings 240 times a year. The films screened by community screening receive alternative screening opportunity to plan, promote, and screen in various local screening venues, including general theaters. Among the films stored in the Library, the ones with educational, cultural, and social values will be selected as ‘independent films recommended for youth’ to increase accessibility of independent and art films to young people. Indieground also promotes various support to revitalize independent and art films, focusing on public online platforms such as ‘Curating’ service that introduces customized films and ‘Independent Film Matching Workshop’ that serves as a business matching program to establish a network between emerging creators and distributors.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
Indieground archives and curates various works to spread the social value of independent and art films. First, the independent and art film DB has information data on about 4,112 independent and art films produced in Korea between 1990 and 2022. It provides data of directors, actors, staff, production companies, distributors, release dates, genres, running times, synopsis, media channel information (Naver, Watcha, TVing, etc.). The Independent Film Library examines the films submitted through public contest, selects them as ‘Independent Film Library Selection’, then sequentially screens them on the online platform. For the distribution on other online platforms, Indieground supports the development of affiliated promotions, community screenings, and promotion on development of films. A total of 70 films in 2020 and 87 films in 2021 were selected. A community screening is a distribution program that provides selected films from Independent Film Library in theaters and other venues (neighborhood cafes, bookstores, village halls, galleries, etc.). It curates the films from ‘Independent Film Library Selection’ and holds an online screening. As of 2022, five curated films will be screened under the theme of ‘Fun Against All Barriers in the World’, and six online screenings will be held under the theme of ‘Confession Diaries’. In order to support youth educational activities using independent films as a medium, ‘Independent Films Recommended for Youth’ are selected out of ‘Independent Film Library Selection’ based on educational, cultural, and social values. Then the selected films are categorized as family, inter-Korean relations, labor, villages, media, literature, gender equality, human rights, housing, youth, and the environment to support the screening and to provide educational materials. Additionally, a matching program between emerging creators and independent art film distributors, the ‘Independent Film Matching Workshop: First Link’ contest project, has been operating since 2021. It has supported 12 films in 2021, and 15 films in 2022.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
2 Billion Won, 1.52 Million Dollars /As of 2021
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
The Association of Korean Independent Film & Video
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Independent Artistic Film Production Company
Private Sector
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Cinema/ Audiovisual Arts
Transversal Priority(ies)