Visual narratives of Korean culture
In addition to enriching the cultural perspective of the Indian audience, 'Indie-AniFest', organised by the Korean Cultural Centre, is also an attempt to strengthen the ties between India and Korea
The Korean wave of culture has swept all of India, finding an audience in almost every city. There is no doubt that K-Pop and K-drama are causing a frisson of excitement among people, thanks to popular bands such as BTS and TV series including "Squid Game" and "Crash Landing on You". Apart from this, Korean animated shows have also caught the attention of the fandom. With this in mind, the Korean Cultural Centre India has provided an opportunity for Indian audiences to get an insight into Korean animation, an industry that has been growing rapidly. The event—it is being organised in collaboration with Korea Independent Animation Association (KIAFA)—includes online screenings of seven Korean short animation films that were submitted to KIAFA as part of their ‘Indie-AniFest’ in 2021. These films will be available for viewing on the Korean Cultural Centre’s film screening website till February 25, 6 pm IST.
Delving into the culture
The seven films that are being screened explore varied expressions and interesting storylines, offering a glimpse of Korean culture, music, and lifestyle. The roster includes several interesting titles such as Who Brings Chocolate Jam? by Jang Na-hee, Incomplete Woman by Heo Soo-young, Seoulsori (Sound of Seoul) by Kim Kyoungbae, The Masterpiece from Kim Si-on, Lee Eun-jin, and Lee Ji-young, First Time by Lee Gyu-ri, and Dogether. A must watch from this list is Kkum (Dream) by Los Angeles-based director and writer Kangmin Kim, a memoir that won the Prize for Independent Short and the Public Prize at the 44th Ottawa International Animation Festival, 2020.
In addition to enriching the cultural perspective of the Indian audience, the festival is also an attempt to strengthen the ties between India and Korea. “All the events held at the Cultural Centre have the purpose of maintaining a close relationship between India and Korea. while planning the short animation festival, we select and promote works based on the opinion of and consultation with Indian animation artists. This kind of mutual cooperation with Indian artists helps maintain a close relationship between India and Korea,” mentioned Hwang Il-Yong, Director of the Korean Cultural Centre India in an email interview.
Expanding the market
Korean webtoons—a type of digital comic—is another art form that has resonated with the masses. Explaining this growth of Korean webtoons Hwang Il-Yong concluded, “It is not an exaggeration to say that Korean webtoons are taking the lead in some countries where animation is traditionally strong, as well as achieving results enough to rekindle the Korean wave around the world. The popularity of Korean webtoons is starting to appear in the Indian market as well.”