An autobiographical work by a Korean adoptee raised in Belgium has been sweeping international animated film festivals.
The animated film, “Approved for Adoption,” co-directed by filmmakers Jung Henin of Belgium and Laurent Boileau of France, won the Youth Jury Award for Best Picture and the Adult Jury Award for Best Picture during Canada’s annual Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth on April 4-11, according to the festival’s website.
The opener at last year’s Puchon International Student Animation Festival of South Korea, the movie is based on a cartoon of the same name authored by Jung that depicts his unconventional upbringing as a Korean child adopted by a Belgian family.
In the 75-minute film, the 49-year-old, who is now a successful cartoonist and filmmaker working in France, weaves his story using animation, home movies and archival footage, showing his progression from the orphanage, to meeting his new blond siblings in 1971, to a return visit to his birthplace in Seoul four decades later.
In February, the movie received the grand prize in the animation category of the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival. It became the first foreign animation to win the top prize in the festival’s history.
First released in 2012, the movie has been invited to 79 film festivals around the world, including the big three events for animated films ― France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Croatia’s Zagreb Film Festival and the Anima Mundi festival of Brazil ― and received 22 awards. Jung has recently been named to be a jury member of the Annecy festival.
The film is set to open in South Korean theaters on May 8. (Yonhap)