The Korea Herald


49th Seoul Independent Film Festival to screen indie Korean animations

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Dec. 3, 2023 - 17:39

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A still cut from A still cut from "When That Day Comes" (1987), directed by Choe Jeong-hyeon (SIFF)

The 49th Seoul Independent Film Festival, the only independent film festival in South Korea that features a competitive showcase, will for the first time screen independent Korean animation films from the 1980s and 1990s in local theaters.

This year's Independent Film Archive Exhibition, being held alongside the film festival, will feature six indie Korean animations from the 1980s and '90s created using the cel animation method. Cel animation involves the manual creation of two-dimensional drawings on transparent plastic sheets.

The animations include works directed by Choe Jeong-hyeon, thought of as the producer and director of Korea's first independent animation films. Three of Choe's works -- "Insect Net" (1983), "Scar" (1984) and "When That Day Comes" (1987) -- deal with the atmosphere after Gen. Chun Doo-hwan usurped power after a 1980 coup.

The seven-minute "Insect Net" delves into the narratives of students protesting at a campus under the watchful eyes of undercover police officers, while "Scar" attempts to compare the regime of Gen. Chun Doo-hwan to the control exercised by authorities during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial era. "When That Day Comes" reflects on the Korean people's rally following the death of pro-democracy activist Park Jong-chul.

Other animation works to be screened include "Wa-Bull" by Lee Yong-bae, which tells of a Sleeping Buddha at Unjusa in Hwasun, South Jeolla Province. Kim Hyun-joo's "Still Unbroken," which won the Excellence Award at the first Seoul Short Film Festival in 1994, will also be screened.

"One Day of Hitchcock," an animated film based on the major works of English American director Alfred Hitchcock, produced by Ahn Jae-huun, will also be featured.

A discussion session for participants to share opinions about the animated films will be held after the screenings, with video of interview sessions with the directors posted on the social media and YouTube accounts of the Seoul Independent Film Festival afterward.

The 49th Seoul Independent Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday, runs through Friday at CGV Apgujeong in southern Seoul.