Ahn also took an active role in supporting Korea's Screen Quota System after the US began to place pressure on Korea to abolish the system in the late 1990s.
The early 2000s has seen Ahn continue to balance more popular works with films by veteran directors.
In Tell Me Something, her star power combined with Han Seok-kyu to create one of the most highly anticipated works in Korean film history (though most viewers ultimately expressed disappointment at the film's convoluted narrative).
The following year she appeared in Korea's first Dogme film Interview, which would end up being her last appearance.
In 2002, after rumors surfaced of an engagement which was later called off, Shim decided to give up her entertainment career.
In the ensuing years, despite periodic rumors that she would resume her film career, Shim has tried her best to remain out of the public eye, studying in France and taking up painting.
3, the hugely popular internet romance The Contact, Hur Jin-ho's classic Christmas in August, and the film that officially kicked off Korea's modern-day commercial boom, Kang Je-kyu's Swiri.
After acting in three more television dramas and two lesser-known films (including Born To Kill with Jung Woo-sung), she made a permanent mark in the film industry with her performance in Hur Jin-ho's modern-day classic Christmas in August (1998).
Later that year Art Museum by the Zoo, which presented a more down-to-earth side of the actress, saw her win over more critical praise for her acting abilities.
Throughout this period, Shim consistently topped magazine polls as the most popular actress in the film industry.
The following year, his appearance in The Scarlet Letter with now-deceased actress Lee Eun-ju opened well, but failed to make a big impression with audiences.
Han's appearance in Im Sang-soo's political bombshell The President's Last Bang marked an impressive return to form, however, and even if it didn't translate into success at the box office, it showed that Han remained at the top of his form.