Mystery and Romance Genres Dominate Busan’s Expanding E-IP Market


Mystery-themed content is a key strand of the E-IP market set to take place next month alongside the Busan International Film Festival.

The pitching and intellectual property trading event (Oct. 11-14, 2021) is the only component of Busan’s Asian Content and Film Market this year that will be operated as a hybrid combining both online and onsite events. Because of ongoing anti-COVID regulations, the online rights market for completed films that has been in place for many years will not be available for the second consecutive year.

The impetus for the E-IP market’s in-person component comes from the vibrancy of the marketplace for intellectual properties of many kinds that can now be developed into films, TV series or short-form content.

Busan’s E-IP market was launched in 2012 and has proved popular as books, webtoons, web novels, story treatments and video games have all been discovered to have the potential to be developed, packaged and traded. A growing demand for original content from streamers has fueled this demand.

Up to date, 160 properties from Korea have been listed. The market expanded to include properties from Japan, Taiwan, and Japan in 2019, thanks to partnerships with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization and Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA). This format will be maintained for 2021. The organizers revealed 45 official selections this year: 28 from Korea, ten from Taiwan, and seven from Japan.

The stories cover a wide range of genres, including comedy, drama, action, thriller, and action. However, mystery is the main theme in many.

These include “Gyeongseong’s Women’s Counseling Center” and “The Evaporated Woman”. The first is set in 1930s and tells the story of a young woman in her twenties, who returns to America after studying abroad. She meets two young women. They open a counseling center, and they become detectives to solve a variety of cases for the women who come knocking at their doors. Kim Jaehee is the author of the book.

“The Evaporated Woman,” Kim Youngju wrote the book. It tells the story about a woman who loses her everything overnight and finds a glimmer hope in a high-ranking director at a Chaebol corporation. Her salvation depends on her letting go of her past and living as her sister. The woman is struggling with her identity and encounters shocking events which lead to uncontrollable fear, as well as a difficult escape.

The Korean IP market has another theme: Teen romances. They are popular web toons.

In “Dorona Farewell Office” a novel by writer Son Hyunju, breaking up is hard to do, but the agency in question removes the difficult and awkward situations for its clients. The concept is pitched as a reflection on human relationships and the essential partings

Other romance projects getting an airing at the E-IP market include: “The Gate of Solitude: Cinderella-The Mystery Cuisine 3,” ”Reply: Hate Comments” and “How to Deal With an Evil Boss?”

Organizers tout the participation of publishers and content production studios including Toyou’s Dream, Munpia Co., Lico and Kyobo Book Centre. CJ ENM is expected to be present, along with Lotte Cultureworks and SBS Studio S., Studio Dragon, KT Studio Genie and Megabox Plus M. Watcha, Rakuten Viki, and CJ ENM.



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