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Korean Film News

[Arirang TV] Animation Film Empress Chung to Open on August 12 in South Korea

Aug 10, 2005
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The animated version of one of Korea's traditional folk tales will be shown at various venues across the peninsula. Our Son Hee-kyung gives us a glimpse of the movie and its director. Filial piety, devotion, and sacrifice. These are some of the words used to describe Shim Chung or Empress Chung, one of the most popular traditional folk tales in Korea. The story is about Empress Chung, who dedicates her life to restoring her blind father's eyesight, an example of a daughter's traditional duty, toward her parents. 66-year-old veteran animator Nelson Shin, known for his work on famous cartoons like, The Simpsons, wanted to take this opportunity to show the traditional side of Korea's culture. "I chose this animation because I felt it could effectively introduce Korea worldwide, and it can be seen by all ages. I decided to change the story set from the Goryeo Dynasty that dates to 918 A.D. to the Joseon Dynasty in 1392." In his film, he adjusts some of the scenes that the original story depicted as a kind of gloomy reality, making them lighter and easier to watch. Shin says he often relied on his childhood memories and imagination to make the film more enjoyable for the audience. Some of those memories came from North Korea, where he grew up, and where he recently spent time working on the collaborative project. "Since the North is my native land, I wanted to get a chance to work with North Koreans. Actually I was surprised to see how skillful and absorbed they were in the lead-up to the production of the animation." South and North Korea have been working together for eight years on the cartoon. North Korean animators created the sketches and drawings for the film, with the rest of the production work done in Seoul. It's the first piece of animated film made in cooperation between the two sides. Empress Chung is receiving much attention, as the timing of its release is especially meaningful. The film is scheduled to open on August 12th in South Korea, on 60 screens nationwide, and six screens on the 15th in North Korea. August 15th is Korea's Independence Day, marking the 60th anniversary of independence from Japanese colonial rule. Son Hee-kyung, Arirang News.
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