SICAF 2011 was a five-day event (July 20 - July 24, 2011), providing a temporary home to hundreds of animated short films, thousands of business counsels, and many more casual visitors who simply happen to be in the area. The festival and its accompanying special gallery demonstrations and digital art competitions change only slightly from year to year, as event organizers are often of the mind that it is with slight variations in mission and purpose that experts and amateurs, professionals and laypersons, will return each year.
"[W]e hope that more people will discover something new," Hwang Kyung-tae, Chairman of the SICAF organizing committee, commented recently. "I hope the festival will not stop short of being entertaining, but offer something lasting for all age groups."
The event's general session, which screens feature, television, and original short animation from around the world, was purported to include some 300 titles from more than thirty countries.
Makoto Shinkai's Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below (Japan; 2011) was this year's opening film, merging the contemporary with fantasy and sci-fi only in the way that the anime director is known for.
Also in features, Ahn Jae-hoon and Han hye-jin's character drama Green Days (Korea; 2011), was a popular, if obvious selection. The movie is an artful and long-gestating hand-drawn production from the well-rested underbelly of the Korean cartoon community.
from "It's Chinese" (2010)
from Green Days (2011)
In addition to the more traditional film screenings, the Soul International Cartoon & Animation Festival continued to integrate related industry efforts into the schedule of event attendees. Namely, through comics portfolios and consumer products panels, SICAF 2011 again brought to light the tangential industries necessary to a healthy animation industry.
Author of girls' comics, Won Su-yeon for example, was presented with the SICAF Cartoon Award, for her efforts in bridging multiple media outlets through her work.
Meanwhile on the business end, the Seoul Promotional Plan, traditionally SICAF SPP, again drew into focus animation projects in development in need of funding. Last year, the Seoul Character & Licensing Fair alone gathered 200,000+ visitors to the tune of more than USD $20 million in licensing agreements. This year, the forum proudly targets the "value, culture, and new paradigm of Asian animation."