Animation Fest Showcases Top Canadian Talent

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Animation Fest Showcases Top Canadian Talent

It was the opening night of the Canadian Animation Festival at the Seoul Arts Center, and panic was in the air. All the tickets were sold out and the seats overbooked. Staff members of the organizing body, the Korean Film Archive, were on a frantic search for at least 250 more folding chairs to squeeze into the small screening room as animation professionals, scholars, students, teenagers and mothers leading children began pouring in.

"And we had been worried that it would be a big flop," said Ko Mi-jin of the Canadian Embassy. About two weeks ago, the embassy co-hosted the Seoul premiere.

Of about 25 films screened, the most popular included "My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts," by Torill Kove, "When the Day Breaks" by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, and "Village of Idiots" by Rose Newlove and Eugene Fedorenko.

"My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts" is about an otherwise ordinary woman charged with a revolutionary instinct. It is the perhaps embellished story of director Kove's grandmother, who may or may not have participated in the Norwegian resistance during World War II.

"When the Day Breaks" used a novel animation technique - pencil and paint on photocopies - to tell the story of a pig whose life is altered dramatically after she witnesses a stranger's death.

"Village of Idiots," an adaptation of an old Jewish folktale, tells the story of a man who journeys from town to town looking for "more intelligent life."

The Canadian Embassy's goal for the festival was to showcase animation's top artists and latest techniques and to spark exchanges with Korea's animation industry.

For those who missed the festival's run in Seoul, which ended Sept. 28, the show opened Wednesday in Pusan and continues through Sunday. There will be three screenings each day of a variety of short and long films.

The embassy's Ms. Ko said, "We are delighted with this big turnout, and we're already gearing up for next year's festival."

For more information, call Cinematheque Pusan 051-742-5377 or visit the Web site

by Kong Seo-hee

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