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North Korea-South Korea Cooperatively Produced Film May See August Release

Wanghusimchung (Empress Chung), an animated feature film co-produced by studios in North and South Korea, may see a simultaneous release in the two countries this August if negotiations with the North Korean side of the production are successful, Creative Film Marketing reported last week. A new dub track is expected to be produced in North Korean dialect in preparation for the release.

The film, based on a traditional Korean tale, follows a blind man and his daughter, Chung, who offers herself as a sacrifice to a sea monster so that her father might see again. Empress Chung is the brainchild of the Korean animation guru Nelson Shin, who started out as an animator at Depatie-Freleng in the 1970s and went on to found Akom Production in 1985. Over the years Shin’s company has worked on countless animated series, including X-Men, Animaniacs and The Simpsons.

So far Wanghusimchung has cost 7 billion won ($7 million). Early versions of the film were screened with English subtitles at the Jeonju International Film Festival this May and at the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF) last August, where it was awarded the grand prize.

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