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‘The Shaman Sorceress’ wins at Annecy animation fest

“The Shaman Sorceress” (Meditation With a Pencil/AIAFF)
“The Shaman Sorceress” (Meditation With a Pencil/AIAFF)

Korean director Ahn Jae-huun’s feature animation “The Shaman Sorceress” bagged the Contrechamp Jury Distinction award at the 44th Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, Saturday.

Based on a 1936 Korean novel of the same title, the film depicts the breakdown of a traditional family following a clash between shamanism and Christianity. Taking the form of an animated musical, the film features Korean singer and actor Sonya as the shaman Mohwa, who comes into conflict with her son Woo-yi, a Christian convert, voiced by musical actor Kim Da-hyun.

The Contrechamp section, comprising the Contrechamp Jury Distinction and the Contrechamp Award, was newly created in 2018 to better showcase unique feature films, as well as those that are challenging for the audience.

“The Shaman Sorceress” is the fourth feature animation by Ahn, who was previously invited to the French film festival in 2011 for his hand-drawn animated film “Green Days: Dinosaur and I.”

Meanwhile, Jeong Hae-ji of the Korean National University of Arts received the Jury Distinction in the Graduation Short Films section with her graduation piece “Sura.”

Founded in 1960, the Annecy festival is one of the most prestigious animated film festivals globally. This year’s festival has been conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival, which kicked off on June 15, runs through June 30.

By Choi Ji-won (