Festival marks Chuncheon’s bid to be animation Mecca

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Festival marks Chuncheon’s bid to be animation Mecca

Animation lovers will get an opportunity to quench their thirst at the seventh Chuncheon Anitown Festival, being held from Thursday to Oct. 13 at the Chuncheon Animation Museum in Chuncheon, Gangwon province.
A total of 23 animated movies from around the world will be screened, five times a day, in two-hour intervals from 11 a.m. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
“Robot Taekwon V,” Korea's classic robot animation movie, which owns the hearts of many young children as well as adults who watched it when they were kids, will be shown Saturday at 3 p.m., while Japan's “Cowboy Bebop,” which has rocked the animation world since its theatrical version and TV series were first released in the late ‘90s, is scheduled for Sunday at 8:00 p.m. “Iron Giant,” a critically lauded American film released in 1999, will be screened Sunday at 11 a.m.
The festival will feature competition in three categories: animation movies, flash animation and animation characters. All in all, 186 works will compete for prizes in the three categories. The grand prize for the animation category is 50 million won ($43,000), while the other two categories carry a cash prize of 40 million won each for the best work.
The opening of the festival will also mark the opening of the Chuncheon Animation Museum, the first of its kind in Korea. Its backers hope it will become Korea’s Mecca in the animation world.
The museum highlights the history of animation in Korea and throughout the world. With 10,000 pieces ranging from animation posters to videos from Korea and other countries, the collection is worth an estimated 12 billion won.
Among the museum’s items are tin figurines of Atom, a popular Japanese animation character that has been around for over 50 years. The museum is also in possession of tin Pinocchio and Mickey Mouse figurines, items that are in high demand among collectors and command substantial biddings at official auction houses such as Sotheby’s.
In addition to the animation festival, magic shows, fireworks and a small concert by the National Police Orchestra are planned for the opening day.
The city of Chuncheon has been designated by the government as a strategic place to groom and develop Korea’s animation industry, much like France’s Annecy, which has played host to the Anncey Festival for the past 40 years and is center stage for that country’s animation industry.
The admission fee for adults is 3,000 won; for middle and high school students, it’s 2,500 won. Children between 4 and middle school age will be admitted for 2,000 won. Call (033) 243-3112 for more information.

by Brian Lee
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