Animation Expert Named Head of Korean Film Council Despite Opposition

Nathan Willock/
Busan Cinema Center and the Korean Film Council

In spite of petitions by local film bodies, Kim Sae-hoon is named chairman of the state-supported organization

Kim Sae Hoon, an animation expert and professor, has been named chairman of the state-run Korean Film Council (KOFIC) despite opposition from within the local film industry.

His three-year tenure announced by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will run through Dec. 30, 2017.

Kim is best known as an academic, teaching in the animation department at Sejong University. He also directed several animated shorts. The 50-year-old previously served as a committee member of KOFIC and the Institute for the Future of State, a think tank run by South Korean president Park Geun Hye. Kim currently also heads the Animation Society of Korea.

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The Korea Film Directors' Society and Korea Scenario Writers Association issued a statement opposing Kim's appointment on Dec. 24, shortly after it became known that the academic was in line to start running the KOFIC.

"We sincerely urge [the culture ministry to appoint] a capable and experienced leader that can communicate with local filmmakers and serve for the film industry," the statement read.

KOFIC, a leading watchdog and Korean film industry body, has been without a chairman for nearly nine months since the termination of former chairman Kim Eui Suk in March 2014.

"We have high hopes that [Kim Sae Hoon] will contribute to broadening the horizon of the Korean film industry and help fortify its critical role in the local creative industry," said a press release by the culture ministry.