Seoul International Cartoon, Animation Fest highlights Polish cartoons, Japanese masters

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Jul 5, 2017 - 13:42
  • Updated : Jul 6, 2017 - 09:56
Polish cartoons and works by Japanese masters will color the city this month at the 21st edition of the Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival.

The annual event, set for July 26-30 this year, will open with the Polish-English animation “Loving Vincent” and showcase, for the first time worldwide, the trilogy of films by legendary Japanese science fiction writer Keikaku Ito.The festival, which celebrates animated films from all over the world, will take place at the SETEC convention center and Megabox Coex cinema.

“Loving Vincent,” which is “the world’s first fully painted feature film” according to its creators, probes into the mystery of Vincent Van Gogh‘s death. The biographical film was created by a team of 115 painters, who produced 65,000 frames of oil painting on canvas using techniques Van Gogh employed.

The film was directed by the Polish-English duo Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman.

Still from “Loving Vincent,” this year’s opening film at SICAF (SICAF)
SICAF organizers hope the screening of “Loving Vincent” will allow the festival to broaden its audience base.

“If past programs were focused on children and a small number of animation enthusiasts, we now want to reach a more diverse group of viewers through this film,” festival organizers said.

A special exhibition will highlight 70 years of Polish animations. Showcased will be works by Polish masters Witold Giersz and Daniel Szczechura, alongside more contemporary films by Pawel Prewencki, Izabela Plucinska and others.

A special exhibition titled “Hall of Fame” will show three animations by the late Keikaku Ito, who went by the English title Project Itoh -- “Genocidal Organ,” “Harmony” and “The Empire of Corpses.”

Also screening will be animations by famed Japanese animator and director Makoto Shinkai -- “Your Name,” “5 Centimeters Per Second,” “The Place Promised in Our Early Days” and “Children Who Chase Lost Voices.”

“SICAF, Asia’s first festival highlighting animated films, is now in its 21st year,” the festival’s Chairman Kim Young-doo announced at a press conference in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on Wednesday.

“This year, we hope to meet a global audience under the theme of ‘adventure,’” executive director Lee Jong-han added.

Some 2,523 works were submitted this year, festival organizers said, up from some 2,000 last year.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)