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Korea's Growing Animation Industry

2008/05/22 Source

Prospects for Korea's animation industry are looking bright as it shifts from subcontracting to producing original content.
Our Jang Jiyun has more on this PLUS scenes from Seoul's annual animation festival.
With a growing number of Korean animated characters gaining international fame, Korea is becoming one of the leading countries in animation.
And, more companies like this one are getting the chance to enter lucrative foreign markets.
Pororo the Little Penguin is what children are all hyped up about, both in Korea and abroad.
This company has already exported content, currently being aired in ten countries outside Korea to over 40 countries.
As for the reasons behind the country's fast growing animation market, the company says it's due to a major shift in production.

[INTERVIEW : Shin Changhwan, Chief Producer of ICONIX Entertainment]"As Korea's animation industry began transforming from mainly subcontracting to creating our own original works, the international animation community began recognizing our creative power and advanced techniques in 3D animation. So this change in perception greatly opened the doors for Korean companies to enter foreign markets".

And on Wednesday, one of Asia's biggest animation festivals lifted its curtains in Seoul.

[REPORTER : ] "I'm here at the 12th annual Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, where Korean animators have a chance to not only show off their own work, but also how far the Korean animation industry has come".

This event was originally established to promote the Korean animation and cartoon industry, as well as to provide a platform for local talent.
But now it has grown into a world-renowned festival featuring the latest trends in animated films and works of artists from around the globe.
And Korea's animation industry is gaining support from the government as it realizes just how large profits from successful animated characters and their subsequent licensing can be.

[INTERVIEW : Bang Joonghyuk, General Director of Seoul Animation Center] "The government recognizes the importance of the digital content industry and how big a contribution it makes to the overall Korean economy. As a result, the Seoul city government has created a fund which goes toward nurturing innovative artists and the production of original works".

The Seoul Metropolitan government says it plans to expand this fund to 100 billion won or 96 million US dollars by 2010.

Jang Jiyun, Arirang News.

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