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Successful differentiation Essay

Pusan International Film Festival is one of the most recognized Asian film festivals in the global film industry. During the decade, the film festival has been able to attract talented directors from all around Korea and interested spectators from the global film industry. They have grown faster than any other international film festival on Asia, including the once popular Hong Kong Film Festival. This development attracted the US and Europe film industry. Beginning with a simple intention of getting Korean films to international recognition, the international film festival has started to actually compete with world class film festivals.

It has its problems and weaknesses, but it also has considerable strengths and opportunities. The future direction of the festival is to enrich the feature of the festival in order to be leading film festival in Asia. In addition, by focusing only on Asian films, Pusan International Film Festival become places for Asian filmmakers to be the places for the promising Asian films and directors in showcasing their creations. Pusan International Film Festival I. Introduction The film industry might not be the most important industry in the world.

None, however, can deny that it is the one popular industry due to the increasing number of young and beautiful actress and actors, the use of sophisticated technology, and . In terms of business, it has most of the characteristics of other industries like changing trends and multiple influencing factors. The international film industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry that affects millions of lives not to mention the viewers. In this paper, I will discuss one of the greatest events in the film industry, which is well known as “film festivals”.

A film festival is a presentation of a line of films in one or several movie theaters or screening locations. Within this event, there is generally one or several focuses regarding the genres of the films displayed. The functions of such an event could vary from introducing new films, discussing new achievement in the film industry, reviewing old or legendary work until attracting foreign observers to finance further events and perhaps finance the work of new talented directors. The first major film festival was held in Venice in 1932 and it stayed in the hands of the western since.

Concerning the establishment of film festival and its competition, this paper will discuss a rising international film festival from the Asia regions, particularly South Korea amidst the increasing challenge from other countries that also carry out similar festivals. The annual event is called the Pusan International Film Festival and it is regarded as one of the most attractive annual events in Asia and particularly in the Asian film industry. II. Findings II. 1. Internal Analysis II. 1. 1 Background In terms of movies and the entertainment business as a whole, Korea is considered one of the most developed Asian countries.

Up to date, there are actually seven great international film festivals held in Korea, all of which gain considerable attention from the people of Korea and international observers. Pusan International Film Festival is however, considered as the most acknowledged international film festivals among the seven. The festival has its origins in the 1996 and is entering its 12th year. Despite the fact that it has a comparatively short history compare to other international film festivals in the world, the Pusan International Film Festival is highly regarded for bringing Asian filmmaker together.

Today, it is considered a high-profile event and currently competing with film festivals all over the globe. The Pusan International Film Festival Grew and Developed from the love from film lovers, whether they are local or foreign in nature. Observers believed that one of the reasons why the international film festival manage to gain significant attention and even love from a wide scope of the global society compare to other film festivals in Korea is because of its variety of sections. II. 1. 2. History of Pusan International Film Festival

As mentioned, the PIFF actually has a rather short history compare to ther international film festivals. From an interview with Mr. Kim Dong Ho, the founder of PIFF, the origins of the PIFF was an intention to reveal Korea’s talented directors to the world. The main goal of PIFF is therefore, to introduce South Korean films abroad. At the time (1995), American cinema is still dominating South Korea’s screen. The thought of defeating American domination over Korea’s cinema was actually present for quite a while, but only in the past decade has it actually came into reality.

One of the giant leaps was the establishment of a screen quota system, which means a cinema is required to screen South Korean films for 146 days in a year. This step contributed greatly to the development of South Korea’s cinema. In 1980’s young directors studying abroad came home and began influencing South Korean cinema. They are highly creative, creating films of various genres that helped considerably in tackling the dominance of American Cinema in South Korea. II. 1. 3. Evolution of the Event The development of Pusan International Film Festival is considered one of the fastest in the history of Korean film festival.

After only six editions, the festival has already regarded as one of East Asia’s major film festivals. Afterwards, the cinema was already considered in its mature stage of development, where it leads the spotlight on Korea’s cinematic work and achievements. It is practically considered the icon of film culture in Korea. Besides bringing the spotlight on the work of renowned Asian directors, Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is also known as the gateway for new generations to thrive within the international film industry. The festival gave local film industry a creative atmosphere that will allow it to rejuvenate itself with new blood.

II. 1. 4. Current Status of the Event The first edition of the event featured 173 films from 31 countries, lasted from September 13 to September 21 1996. The latest edition featured 275 films from 64 countries started in October 4 to October 12 2007 and attended by viewers from numerous nationalities. Feedbacks and praises are coming from various organizations in the film industry which revealed the popularity of PIFF for the global film society. In achieving its high profile as an international event, there are many features offered by the Pusan International Film Festival and all of them are maintained with high quality management.

One of the greatest features of the Pusan International Film Festival however, is its focus on Asian films and trends. The international film festival is well respected for bringing a look for the worldwide entertainment community, into the Asian films and developing trends. This is done through programs like: “New Currents”, World Cinema”, “Korean Panorama”, “Wide Angle”, “Open Cinema”, “A Window on Asian Cinema”, etc. Despite its international profile, analysts believed that most of these programs are made with non-competitive intentions, with the exception of “New Currents”, which is a competitively-designed program.

Each section discusses an important perspective over the development of Korean and also Asian cinema. The “Window on Asian Cinema” program for instant, represent a section that discusses various perspectives regarding well-known Asian directors and their new films. The “New Currents” program on the other hand, represents discussions regarding films made by future leading Asian directors. The “World Cinema” offers reviews regarding the best films in the world, which is also a popular program. The “Open Cinema” program discusses perspectives regarding new films, in terms of art and mass popularity.

The “Korean Panorama” on the other hand, discusses the development of local films and trends in Korea. The “Wide Angle” program is a segment dedicated to reviewing short films, animation, experimental films and documentary. The “Korean Retrospective” segment spotlights films of notable directors in the history of Korean Cinema. The “Critics Choice” program is dedicated to discovering new artists along with the development of new generations of cinema. II. 1. 5. Strengths and Weaknesses • Strengths

Observer believed that one of the strengths of PIFF compare to other international film festivals lay on its cash awards given to young and rising Asian directors. Other movie festivals, particularly ones in US or Europe give no cash awards or give cash awards that are immaterial compare to what the movie has paid the director. In the case of PIFF, the director is most likely talented newcomers that are still gathering funds for their next project. Others are just ‘for fun’ directors that enters the competition for the money without realizing that they truly have what it takes to grow in the film industry.

Thus, cash awards in the PIFF have a huge role in boosting its popularity. Another strong value of the PIFF is its strong commitment to the Korean Cinema, particularly in developing local film industry in the form of short films and documentaries. The winners of these categories are also awarded with cash prizes. Beside these winning characteristics, PIFF also granted the right to meet prospective financers, distributors or producers, wither locally or from other regions, for talented new directors.

These activities are wrapped within the program called the “Pusan Promotion Plan”, in which new and developing directors are competing for cash prizes that will help realized their next unrealized project. Many even considered that these programs are directly responsible for PIFF’s success and should be considered a standard structure for developing new film festivals (Rao, 2005). These strengths have brought the festival into previously unknown heights. Many however, stated that it would not have been so without the leadership exist within the international film festival itself. Names like Mr. Kim Ji-seok and Mr.

Sang-jun must not be separated with current development in PIFF. Both of these characters are responsible for the vision and firm sense of purpose which gave birth to programs like “A Window on Asian Cinema”, “New Currents”, etc. prior to these leadership acts, paving a road into success was considerably harder for new and talented directors. Today, the PIFF is recognized as the fastest in Asia for recognizing new talents and the most determined in maintaining the development of Asian movies. Analysts have put special credit on the leadership values exist within the PIFF which has made it the way it is today (Pacquet, 2006).

• Weaknesses The PIFF has a strong connection to the Korean Film Industry, and therefore the problems of the industry are sort so say, the problem of PIFF also. Within the event, there are often speakers which are Korea’s renowned characters in the film industry addressing the audience regarding obstacles and problems that are currently attacking the Korean Film Industry. One of the most critical problems is piracy, which is sometimes described as the worst in the world. In Korea, high quality illegal downloads became available as soon as the DVD is released to the public.

In the end, this hurt the film industry and prevents it to ever grow at its full potential. Another problem within the PIFF that requires attention is the backward development of some of its programs. Some argued that during the busyness of performing all the programs within the agenda, quality maintenance has sometimes been abandoned. For instance, the ‘new current’ which is known to be a field of introduction for new directors and its movies, could sometime introduce films that has already been introduced by other international film festival.

In a way, introducing new films that has been introduced before is always known as the operations of ‘minor league’ festivals, something that should be considered as a disturbing setback for PIFF. Providing audience of the festival with the ‘first view’ of new films by talented directors is the pride and the ultimate importance of the “new current” program. Attentions however, have been given to prevent such occurrences from repeating itself and further degrading the image of PIFF in the eyes of international event observers (Pacquet, 2005).

In the operational side, the PIFF committee has also encountered problems that must be solved in the next edition of PIFF. For instant, the limited tickets for industry members and an overall short of facilities for viewers. This problem might be caused by underestimating how the PIFF has attracted local and foreign attention, that there were people who came a thousand miles to see the festival and did not get the chance to see the shows they wanted to. There are many similar complaints and the committee is expected to have solved the problem in the next edition of the PIFF.

II. 2. External Analysis II. 2. 1. PEST Analysis Like businesses, Pusan International Film Festival is also influenced by situations and conditions around them. Competition, regulation, society’s cultural habits, and changes of consumers’ taste are factors business people cannot afford to ignore. Experiences and various researches have lead economists and business practitioners to find methods to analyze the factors that influence businesses. One of them is the PEST Analysis that composes of four main factors: political, economical, social, ad technological factors. • Political

In the beginning, the government has been a great help toward the development of the PIFF. Sadly, with the resignation of Lee Chang-dong as the minister of culture, it is hard to say what the contribution of the government since toward South Korean cinema. For the PIFF however, the South Korean government has been highly supportive. For instance, once, PIFF asked the government to minimize censorship problems of the films chosen for the festival. Since then, there have not been problems for films shown in PIFF. The PIFF however, is noted to receive minimum help from the television in marketing and promoting the PIFF.

• Economical The economical benefits that may be obtained from the successful film festival in Pusan are their potential revenue from the increasing number of visitors, film producers, actress and actors from many Asian countries. In general, these event become the center of attention that attract many film fans from all over the world to see their stars directly (Roosen-Runge, 2001). • Social The audience of the PIFF is a relatively young crowd. The latest interviews indicated that that 80% of the audience at PIFF is in their teens and early twenties.

The situation highlights that Pusan Film Festival also encourages young producers and artists to take significant part in the production of movies for the target audiences. The clear target audience has resulted in the coming of new directors from several Asian countries (Rao, 2005). II. 2. 2. Porter Five Forces Analysis • Rivalry Many stated that PIFF has actually built on the tradition of Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), which have become the gateway of new cinematic wave just three years after its first edition in 1976.

There are also other film festivals that have similar effect on local film industry. One of them is the Singapore International Film Festival which pushed the new generations of local film makers in competing internationally by means of local short films. Among these international film festivals however, the PIFF was still considered the leading event. PIFF moved to the front because of the solid support of the community impressed by PIFF’s independence. Its nearest competitor on the other hand, the HKIFF has been reviewed to be self-imploded particularly after its 25th edition.

Today, the HKIFF is still struggling to make its comeback after the lost of significant bearings due to a transition in the film industry and the belt-tightening condition of the economy (‘The 12th Pusan’, 2007). II. 2. 3. Opportunities and Threats • Opportunities The focus of the PIFF is mostly on young directors and low budget movies that caught significant attention. This format has been the foundation of the international film festival’s success since its inception. There are those however, who believe that PIFF could further advanced by also providing discussions of huge blockbuster movies.

Analysts stated that PIFF truly has the capacity of doing both promoting new and interesting short movies, and discussing large movies. The problem is however, in making the decision whether people of the PIFF is willing to transform into such format. Others have argued that each event should have their own identity and betraying that identity would lower the spirit of the people involved within the event. Further discussions are still performed in response to this new idea. III. Strategic Choices

The strategy that Pusan International Film Festival takes is to provide places for young Asian filmmaker to present their new production while having relationship with other filmmakers across the Asian region. Due to the enormous demands from the filmmakers, currently, Pusan International Film Festival is considered as the high-profile event and directly challenges other film festival across the globe. In order to reach the high profile event, as an international event, Pusan International Film Festival presents some features that maintained by high quality management.

One of their greatest features that Pusan International Film Festival provides is their decision to focus only on Asian films and trends (Rao, 2005). To be specific, Pusan International Film Festival target young audiences and also young artists by setting up programs like “Korean Panorama”, “World Cinema”, “A Window on Asian Cinema”, “New Currents”, and “Open Cinema”, to name a few (Rao, 2005). IV. Discussions IV. 1. Vision, Mission and Strategic Objectives The success of any events and also business is depended on the first step when deciding the target audiences.

At Pusan International Film Festival, the success is the result of the whole improvement that they take in order to make the festival to become leading events for filmmakers across the Asian regions. IV. 1. 1 Vision The vision of Pusan International Film Festival is to provide places for young filmmakers in the Asian region to present their creations in a highly competitive environment that encourages them to produce new approach in making films. The decision to focus on only Asian film is because, previously, Asian films rarely taking parts in global film festival like Cannes Film Festival and also Oscar in the U.

S. therefore, by having vision to provide places for the promising Asian films and directors, Pusan International Film Festival intends to support film making in Asian countries (Rao, 2005). The underlying reasons behind the continual growth that Pusan International Film Festival is the tremendous support from the filmmakers due to they feel the benefits they have when taking part in the competition (Rao, 2005). IV. 1. 2 Mission The mission of Pusan International Film Festival is to promote Asian film in global competitive places.

By doing so, Asian cinephiles have opportunity to be leading Asian filmmakers not only in the Asian level but also worldwide. IV. 1. 3 Objective The strategic objectives of Pusan International Film Festival lie on following condition/situation: • To promote Asian cinema and filmmakers. This is true since many Asian countries like Iran and Afghanistan have not received recognition for their contribution in film industry in the world. Therefore, Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) aims at helping Asian filmmakers to take opportunity in global competition.

• To reveal new Asian directors from the competition in PIFF. • To introduce Asian movies in global marketplaces like European countries. IV. 2. Future Directions The future of Pusan International Film Festival is to be competitive film festival that features different strategy than other film festival in Asia and the world. A differentiation strategy is a strategy that strives to attain a competitive advantage by creating a product (good or service) that is perceived by customers to be unique in some important way. Differentiation strategies are attractive when buyer preferences and/or requirements are diverse.

Successful differentiation allows companies to undergo key features like gain audiences loyalty to their brands. The most appealing differentiation is one that is difficult or expensive for rivals to duplicate. There are several type of differentiation such as taste, engineering design and performance, quality manufacture, and image and reputation. To achieve these goals, organizations could incorporate features that enhance buyer satisfaction in non-economic or intangible ways or compete on the basis of capabilities (rather than the product itself).

At Pusan International Film Festival, the action to gain audience loyalty is through the establishment of a screen quota system, which presents the screen South Korean films for 146 days in a year. This program greatly helps Korean movies to have particular challenges as well as opportunity in home country. The differentiation of Pusan International Film Festival compared to other Asian-level film competition like Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival and Jeonju International Film Festival is on selection of best quality films from all over the world. Puchonhas differentiation as they only spot the special genre of fantastic films.

Meanwhile, Jeonju Film Festival is places for an alternative film festival (Rao, 2005). V. Conclusions Entertainment industry becomes attractive business that attracts billions of dollars business. The attractiveness of the business does not only stop at the sold ticket revenue but also from the selling of merchandise, to name a few. The development of film industry in the US and Europe become the center of other film industry in the world. Beginning with a simple intention of getting Korean films to international recognition, the international film festival has started to actually compete with world class film festivals.

It has its problems and weaknesses, but it also has considerable strengths and opportunities. The future direction of the festival is to enrich the feature of the festival in order to be leading film festival in Asia. Concerning the establishment of film festival and its competition, this paper has elaborated the rising international film festival from the Asia regions, particularly South Korea amidst the increasing challenge from other countries that also carry out similar festivals.

The annual event is called the Pusan International Film Festival and it is regarded as one of the most attractive annual events in Asia and particularly in the Asian film industry. The establishment of Asian-level film festival is coming from three conditions/situations as following: • To promote Asian cinema and filmmakers. • To reveal new Asian directors from the competition in PIFF. • To introduce Asian movies in global marketplaces like European countries. Reference: Differentiation Strategies. (2004). Retrieved January 24, 2008 from courses. dsu. edu/bus482/Slides/Chap5/differ. doc Pacquet, Darcy. (2005).

2004 Pusan International Film Festival Report. Pacquet, Darcy. 2006. ‘2005 Pusan International Film Festival Report’. Koreanfilm. Rao, Lalit. 2005. ‘An Interview with Mr. Kim Dong Ho’. Koreanfilm ‘The 12th Pusan International Film Festival’. 2007. Tour 2 Korea. Rao, Lalit. (2005). An Interview with Mr. Kim Dong Ho. Retrieved January 24, 2008 from Retrieved http://www. koreanfilm. org/kimdongho. html Roosen-Runge, Lisa. (2001). The 25th Hong Kong International Film Festival (April 6 to 21 2001) – A Report. Retrieved January 22, 2008 from http://www. sensesofcinema. com/contents/festivals/01/14/hkiff_report_lisa. html


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