The Barbican plays host to the London International Animation Festival which runs from Friday, October 25th to Sunday, November 03rd with over 300 films from 30 countries being screened. There are a number of Japanese films playing at the festival and here they are:
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Running Time: 13 mins
Kick-Heart is the biggest title programmed for this festival. It is directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, The Tatami Galaxy) and animated by Production I.G (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell). This was big news in the anime world last year because it was successfully funded by the public via Kickstarter, a first for an anime title since the traditional route is to use corporate investors. It is playing at the London Film Festival which allowed me to copy and paste this blurb.
Romeo is a successful pro-wrestler. Juliet is a nun who lives a secret double-life as a female pro-wrestler. Romeo’s secret is that he enjoys taking a beating in the ring, while Juliet feels invigorated when facing her opponents as a wrestler. When the two meet in the ring, the fireworks fly.
Komaneko, Home Alone
Director: Goda Tsuneo
Running Time: 7.30
Part of the Amazing Animation (0-6 years old) and directed by Goda Tsuneo. It’s about a cat named Komaneko who is left alone at home by Ojii and gets a little scared. The clip is cute.
Crazy For It
Director: Yutaro Kubo
Running Time: 3.37
Screened as part of the international competition programme, this is described as “a crazed blizzard of imagery supercharging a variety of moving bodies ahead of its crest.” It pulses with life thanks to the animation and music!
You can watch it online here.
Director: Yoriko Mizushiri
Running Time: 6 mins.
This short is part of the international competition programme but it showed up at the Vancouver International Film Festival where it screened before another film. The animation follows a young woman who loses herself in her futon, physically and mentally.
A Gum Boy
Director: Masaki Okuda
Running Time: 3.45
This is screening in the Marvellous Animations strand and follows a boy named Kuchao who is a bit of an outsider in a school where others are preoccupied with releasing balloons into the air and he’s being a rebel because he’d rather chew gum. He will soon discover chewing bubble gum can also help him take off, high up to where the aeroplanes and rockets are.
You can watch it online here.
Check out Alua’s post for more cool titles from East Asia!
Here’s a bit more information from the organisers:
“Celebrating its 10th anniversary LIAF will proudly showcase the whole spectrum of creative animation in a series of amazing programmes including animated features, competition shorts, masterclasses from visiting animators, screen talks, workshops and industry events.
The festival kicks off its 10th birthday edition with a preview of Kevin Schrek’s Persistence of Vision about the visionary animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and his quarter-century quest to make the greatest film ever, only to have it torn from his hands. The director will give a ScreenTalk following the screening with festival director Nag Vladermersky and animator Michael Schlingmann who spent many years working with Richard Williams on this unrealised project.
The festival has also dug deep into its 10-year archive to present three very special screenings of the best comedy, horror and sci-fi films.
The competition programmes are the core of the festival. As well as six programmes of the best new short films from all around the world there are also abstract, long shorts and the British showcase programmes.
Elsewhere at the festival audiences can discover the output of a quiet powerhouse of European animation, Sacrebleu Productions in France, and the sophisticated capabilities of 3D from the National Film Board of Canada and Poland’s Platige Image Film Studio, which has had a major influence in the shaping of 3D stereoscopic animation. Ola Watras will present a fascinating masterclass on some of the processes involved in Platige Images’ award-winning productions.
Multi award-winning Estonian animator Ülo Pikkov will present a retrospective screening of his work as well as give an in-depth masterclass focussing on his film Body Memory (2011), which has been selected for over 100 international film festivals and has won more than 30 prizes.
LIAF will also present two programmes of animation specifically for children – Amazing Animations for 0-6 year-olds and Marvellous Animations for 7-15 year-olds.
Children also get the opportunity to take part in a drop-in animation workshop and to make a Spooky Film at a day-long workshop; all ages are welcome at the second annual LIAF flipbook challenge lead by acclaimed animator Elizabeth Hobbs.
The festival ends with the Best-of-the-Festival on Sunday 3 Nov featuring the best films chosen by our panel of judges and audience votes.”