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‘KKUM’ wins Grand Prize and Public Prize at OIAF

Director Kim Kang-min posts a video of his character from “KKUM” announcing the winning of the award on Sunday. (Instagram)
Director Kim Kang-min posts a video of his character from “KKUM” announcing the winning of the award on Sunday. (Instagram)

Director Kim Kang-min became the first Korean to take home both the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short and the Public Prize at the 44th Ottawa International Animation Festival, with his short film “KKUM” on Saturday.

“KKUM,” meaning “dream” in Korean, is a black-and-white stop-motion animation about a mother who has prophetic dreams of the dangers her son will face and how the son matures in her love.

“Winning the Grand Award at Ottawa was one of my dreams as a filmmaker. And it is not a KKUM anymore!” posted Kim on Instagram after winning the award Saturday.

The annual OIAF, the biggest animation film festival in North America, was held online from Sept. 23 through Sunday due to COVID-19. The 98 entries, consisting of 92 short films and six feature films, were selected from 1,950 submissions from 84 countries this year.

“The Grand Prize win at OIAF, one of the four major animation film festivals in the world, is very special because it is the first Korean work to do so. It’s all the more meaningful because both its artistic value and reception by the public were recognized by winning the Grand Prize and the Public Prize. It’s the third film to accomplish the feat,” Kim told The Korea Herald on Tuesday.

While his previous shorts have been autobiographical, Kim feels that “KKUM” is the most personal film so far, as it deals with his mother’s prophetic dreams.

“I was curious how the judges and the public would take the film. The film is very dreamlike and deals with personal issues. But overall, it talks about mother’s love, so I think the audience and judges felt the same emotions as I did,” said Kim.

“KKUM” also won the grand prize at the Korean Independent Animation Film Festival last month.

“The director shared with us his life journey through this intimate work. It caught our attention not only by the story, but also the amazing execution of lighting on this particularly minimal set design,” said the OIAF jury.

Los Angeles-based Kim‘s previous works include “JEOM” (2017), “Dear Flower” (2015) and the music video for Ingrid Michaelson and Jason Mraz’s “Christmas Valentine.”

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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