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Festival Profile: SICAF 2001

The 21st century is seeing an explosion of animation in popular culture, from games to theme parks, television to new media. The Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF) has recognized and embraced this growth, and is positioned as one of the only events in the world that celebrates cartoons and animation across all mediums.

Many animation festivals take place around the world each year. Each has its own flavor or focus for example, Italys Cartoons On The Bay celebrates television animation, while the International Animated Film Festival Annecy focuses more on short films. The 21st century is seeing an explosion of animation in popular culture, from games to theme parks, television to new media. The Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF) has recognized and embraced this growth, and is positioned as one of the only events in the world that celebrates cartoons and animation across all mediums. SICAF is unique in its focus, bringing together cartoons and animation from games, television, film and the Internet in one competitive festival and exhibition. SICAFs goal is to emphasize and promote the artistic and commercial potential of comics, cartoons and animation that are regarded as an omnibus art form, combining imagination with cutting-edge technology. SICAF is truly positioned as the Hub of Asian Cartoons and Animation.

SICAF 2001s main exhibition will take place at the COEX main event hall, while the SPP (SICAF Project Promotion) will take place on the COEX 3rd floor. The main exhibition of Korean cartoon, animation and game companies will take place on the 1st floor. In addition, exhibitions planned include a Cheerful Cartoon exhibition, a collection of works by local artists, a Modern European Cartoon exhibition, a collection of miniature animation sets and a North and South Korea Cartoon Exchange. The SPP is a professional investment market designed to bring local animation production companies together with the international investment community. Over a 3-day period, the SPP plans a series of briefings and conferences, all designed to provide a place for planners and manufacturers, investors and distributors to meet and discuss new investments in animation production.

The SICAF International Animation Festival will be held in Jeong-Dongs A&C Event Hall and Art Cube, situated in the heart of Seoul, about 40 minutes from the COEX main event hall. As a cultural center, Jeong-Dong is a lush and colorful mix of old and new. The festival is divided into competitive and non-competitive categories. This years theme is Stop-Motion. The festival will include screenings of various short form, long form, OVA and Internet animation, local premiers of international animated pieces, and screenings of work from local stop-motion studios.

SICAF 2001 aims to increase foreign participation at the exhibition hall, promoting Seoul and South Korea as a center for East Asian culture and industry for the 21st century. SICAF has been busily promoting the festival, and already has 20 companies from Japan, Hong Kong, France Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and China signed up to participate. More than 200 entries from 20 countries have already been received for the exhibition and animated film festival.

Seoul is remembered worldwide as the host of the 1988 Olympics, and will play host to the World Cup Opening Ceremonies in 2002. Seoul is an ancient city, full of life, rebuilt from the ruins of the Korean War. Cartoonists, animators, distributors and investors flocked to Seoul in 1999 for the 4th SICAF. French animation director Jean Fransois Lasuionie premiered his own new long piece, A MONKEY TALE, as well as several other short pieces. Young animation directors had a chance to meet with him at length after the screening, discussing Korean animation and other interesting topics. Well-known Japanese cartoonists Yamada Nanpei and Yshito Usui delighted their fans, showing their work and signing countless autographs.

SICAF 2001 will be held in the 1st floor, COEX, situated in Samsung-Dong, Seoul from August 11 to 19, 2001. The SPP will be held in the 3rd floor, COEX, from August 12 to 14, 2001. Also, SICAF international animation film festival screenings will be showing in city theaters from August 11 to 17, 2001. To find out more about SICAF 2001, visit www.sicaf.org.

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