South Korean pop music has become a huge phenomenon across Asia, and the country's films are also gaining prominence thanks to its annual festival line-up. The Busan International Film Festival is receiving increasing attention, showing that the South Korean government understands how to raise the profile of its lesser-known cities through such events. Sci-fi/horror fans are catered for at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, while those into music say the Jecheon International Music and Film Festival is not to be missed. Jecheon, in Chungcheong province, is only two hours from Seoul's Cheongryangri train station. Jecheon is a typical small town, known for its beautiful Cheongpung Lake. Seeing its potential, the provincial government linked entertainment and tourism with the music and film festival. Now in its seventh year, about 130 films related to music were presented at this year's event. The opening ceremony on August 11 was held on an outdoor stage beside Cheongpung Lake, with jazz performances and an address from festival director Oh Dong-jin. Even an unseasonal downpour didn't mar the opening night screening of The Music Never Stopped, with volunteers handing out raincoats to the audience. Oh is optimistic about the event's future. 'I was really touched by the audience and I was so worried they would leave because of the rain. Jecheon is a small town and there are not enough cinemas. We are now negotiating with the provincial government and are planning to transform a container into a theatre. The container theatre should be a permanent tourist attraction.' A seasoned film critic with Movieweek magazine, Oh took up the festival director role this year. 'The opening ceremony was a great challenge for me. I am glad that the audience liked it. Most youngsters love music and film, and I believe a younger programming team is essential. They know what young people like the best. I am too old for that,' he laughs. The Jecheon International Music and Film Festival has also proven to be something of a carnival for the whole city. At festival time, free shuttle buses operate between the city centre and the lakeside outdoor stage, where stalls offer festival-goers barbecued beef washed down with Korean soju. Starting at midnight on the Friday and Saturday nights are all-night screenings of three films. The Jecheon International Music and Film Festival is held every August. For more information, visit www.jimff.org .