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ANIMPACT Programmer Sung-Joo Kim Dies at 41

Multinational festival programmer served as the main programmer for South Korea’s ANIMPACT Animation Festival and the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Film Festival.

Multinational festival programmer Sung-Joo Kim, the main programmer for South Korea’s ANIMPACT Animation Festival, has died at the age of 41, AWN has learned. The news was announced on the ANIMAPCT Facebook page, and while details are scant, aside from that he died from a sudden illness on April 15, the outpouring of affection is more than apparent. Kim is survived by six companions: three dogs (Bing, Bong and Ding) and three cats. 

The ANIMPACT Animation Festival, held annually in Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo, features the best of the best. Competition is limited to the grand prize winners of the world’s top ten animation festivals:  Annecy, Animafest Zagreb, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, the Holland Animation Film Festival, Stuttgart, the Melbourne International Animation Festival, Animamundi in Brazil, and Bulgaria’s Varna World Animation Festival, while films screening out of competition include some of the most diverse programming seen to date.

Kim had served as the main programmer of the ANIMPACT Festival since it was founded by Sehoon Kim, in 2006, as well as Director of Programming for the ANIMPACT Animation Festival Monthly. He also as the main programmer for the annual Korea Animarathon festival, which spotlights domestic filmmakers, since it was founded in 2009. Prior to then, from 2000 to 2006, Kim served as the festival programmer at the Seoul Animation Center, and also served as main programmer at the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Film Festival (SICAF).

Kim was born on April, 17th, 1973, and grew up in Seoul. He earned a degree in philosophy at Hankook University of foreign studies prior to completing the master's course in animation criticism at Hansung University. Following his studies, Kim served as a foreign cooperation director of ASKO (Animation Society of Korea Animation), and as a jury member of KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency), as well as the Seoul Animation Center and Cheonju Cultural Industry Promotion Foundation, and also served a consultant of the Institute of Korean Media Policy and Gwangju Information and Culture Industry Promotion Agency.

With Kim’s death, the global animation community loses a tireless champion of groundbreaking animation in Korea and abroad. Here at AWN we extend our deepest condolences to Kim’s family and colleagues for their loss.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.

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