South Korean feature My Beautiful Girl, Mari (pictured) was awarded the Grand Prix for best animated feature at the 26th Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which drew to a close on June 8. The prize for best animated short film was awarded to Barcode, directed by Adriaan Lokman of the Netherlands.

A total of 500 films from 33 countries were presented, with a further 950 companies from 55 countries attending the market, which runs parallel to the festival. With more than 100,000 tickets sold, the festival is considered by many as the world's leading showcase of animated films.

A jury including Pete Docter, director of Monsters, Inc., selected winners among the 201 films in competition, including 52 shorts, 59 school films, 85 TV films and 5 feature films. This year for the first time, the festival also featured a section devoted to internet films.

The debut feature of director Lee Sung-gang, My Beautiful Girl, Mari was the first South Korean feature to screen at a major animation festival. The award has generated considerable press coverage in Korea, prompting the film's theatrical distributor Big Blue Film to decide on a re-release. The film, about a boy in a seaside village who enters a world of fantasy, is sold internationally by Cinema Service.

2002 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, prizes

Feature Films

Grand Prix: My Beautiful Girl, Mari, dir. Lee Sung-gang (South Korea)

Special Mention: Mercano The Martian, dir. Juan Antin (Argentina)

Short Films

Grand Prix: Barcode, dir. Adriaan Lokman (Netherlands)

Special Jury Award: Home Road Movies, dir. Robert Bradbrook (Great Britain)

"Jean-Luc Xiberras" Award for First Film: Roof Sex, dir. PES (USA)

Audience Award

Bookashkis, dir. Mikhail Aldashin (Russia)

Films for Television

Grand Prix: Hamilton Mattress, dir. Barry J. C. Purves (Great Britain)

Special Award for TV Series: Samurai Jack (Episode 7), dir. Gennady Tartakovsky (USA)

School and Graduation Films

Best School or Graduation Work: Rocks, Heidi Wittlinger et al. (Germany)

Special Jury Award: Cesaria's Story, Camille Henrot (France)

Films for the Internet

Best Short Film: Inoshiro's Demons, dir. Jean-Luc Gage (France)

Best Series: Kevina (Episode 3), dir. Kevin Lofton (USA)