from What is Not Romance? (2009)
SICAF 2010's competition screenings are very well-rounded this year. Although productions originally from Asia -- Taiwan, Korea, The Philippines -- are certainly present, there is strong representation from central and southern Europe at this year's festival as well. Features from Japan and South Korea, television animation from Germany and Hungary, short films from Slovenia and the Czech Republic, and student filmmaking from Canada, Brazil, the UK, and Switzerland.... the following is a look at SICAF 2010's general session.
The 2D feature animation What is Not Romance?
(Korea; 2009), produced by graduate students of the Korean Academy of Film Arts, is one of five films competing at the festival this year. The movie is a look at a Korean couple whom at their 27th anniversary can't seem to recall what made them fall in love with one another to begin with. The couple has four kids and constantly bicker, but somewhere beneath the unrest lies a lovelorn sweetness driving them to keep on keeping on. What is Not Romance?
is co-directed by Hong Eun-ji, Soo-Kyung, and Park Jae-Ok.
from Port of Return (2009)
Additional features at SICAF 2010 include Port of Return
(Taiwan; 2009) and Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror
(Japan; 2009), the latest CG project from Production I.G and director Shinsuke Sato. The first of these two is a sprawling supernatural war story, within which is a young girl seeking romance against the better advice of Fate. Port of Return
, written and directed by Mike Chang at Spring House Entertainment, is about a lot of things: spiritual journeys, conflicts between good and evil, young romance. The flash-animated feature follows a girl named Frostlight, an imperfect girl seeking a perfect love, amid the physical and spiritual chaos surrounding her.
Notable television animation screening this year include the new Jungle Emperor Leo
(Japan; 2009), the thoughtful new series The Widely Travelled Little Mouse
(Hungary; 2009), and a few projects from Nickelodeon Animation Studios (U.S.) -- Robles' Fanboy & Chum Chum
("Total Recall"), and Amy Poehler's The Mighty B!
("Catatonic"). Anime director Goro Taniguchi adapts the long-heralded comics of the great Osamu Tezuka for Jungle Emperor Leo: The Brave Change the Future
; the cartoon again observes the young white lion cub whose encounters with human and animal-kind provide meaningful discourse on the state of the environment.
from The Little Sun (2009)
Studio2 Animation Lab (Tainan City, Taiwan) brings its latest thirteen-episode television series, The Little Sun
(2009), to the Seoul Int'l Cartoon & Animation Fest as well. The CG series is a slice-of-life production, tracking a Taiwanese family from 1956-1970.
Directed and produced by Chiu Li-wei and written by Kuang Tsai Hao, The Little Sun
is perfectly efficacious in providing viewers with a snapshot of the sweet, colorful, substantive cartoons native to the Taiwan market.
from Rudolf (2009)
(France; 2010) is a new animatin from GO-N Productions (Paris, France), in association with Inspidea (Selangor, Malaysia). Set in outer space, the cartoon tracks a troop of animal explorers who happen to be descendants of the Laika space dogs and other first-generation adventurers. Elsewhere, the short-form series Rudolf
(Germany; 2009) will also screen. The series is a wonderful, slapstick production, where a door-to-door salesman is determined to sell whatever it is he's got to a client. Rudolf isn't the brightest salesman, but he's never discouraged and always wears a smile.