Japanese Animation at the London International Animation Festival 2020

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This year’s London International Animation Festival (LIAF 20) is online this year and there are a number of Japanese films on offer. Tickets break down like this:

A standard virtual tickets costs £6 while a festival pass (covering 24 screenings and talks) costs £45 waged/£35 student and unwaged.

Here are the films:

Bath House of Whales (8 mins. Dir: Mizuki Kiyama)

Available for 48 hours from Friday December 4 at 6 p.m.

For this award-winning short, Kiyama used a paint on glass technique to render a young girl’s visit to a neighbourhood sento (bath house) with her mother.


My Exercise (マイエクササイズ)

Running Time: 03 mins.

Release Date: September 19th, 2020

Director: Atsushi Wada

Animation Production: NEWDEER


Available for 48 hours beginning Monday November 30 at 8 p.m.

Synopsis: Atsushi Wada is the director of The Great Rabbit, which won the Silver Bear Award in the short film section of the Berlin International Film Festival 2012. He has a lot of other short films, many of which are going to be screened alongside commercials and other things made by the animator at a special event. My Exercise, his newest work, depicts an overweight boy doing sit ups with a shiba-inu. Eventually, more animals join in and it becomes very surreal because of their involvement. You can watch a recent NHK World talk with Atsushi Wada on the NHK website.


There are two Japanese films in the International Competition Programme 5 – Into the Dark. They will be available for 48 hours from Tuesday December 01st at 8 p.m. This program includes a talk with directors including Nihei, live-streamed at 9.10 p.m. on Tuesday and archived until Thursday December 03rd at 8 p.m.

Polka-Dot Boy (Dir: Sarina Nihei, Dur: 7:40, 2020) – website

Synopsis: A boy suffering from a polka-dot disease experiences peculiar events and discovers a hidden connection between the disease and a religious group.

Mekakure (Dir: Akifumi Nonaka, Dur: 5:30, 2020)

Synopsis from Short Shorts: Shun regrets it. Why does he have to play with four of them? They are not good friends. He hates them. The unpleasant heat and the heavy atmosphere of the shrine gradually darken Shun’s mood.

Just a Guy (Shoko Hara, 15 mins., 2020) – website

This is in the International Competition Programme 6 – Animated Documentaries and will be available for 48 hours from Wednesday December 02nd at 8 p.m.

You can read an interview with Shoko Hara here where she goes into more detail.

Synopsis: Three women share glimpses of their affection, attraction and relationship with Richard Ramirez, a serial killer and rapist they contacted after he had been convicted.

DOGHEAD (Dir: Momo Takenoshita, 4:24, 2020) – website

This is in Late Night Bizarre, available for 48 hours from Friday December 04th at 10 p.m.

Synopsis: A life is born, a new planet too. Uh-oh…..here come the visitors.

There are Japanese animators and animations for Japanese musicians in the Music Video section. These are available for 48 hours from Saturday December 05th at 7 p.m.

Aside from the top two entries which I had already written about, these are all new films to me. This post was rushed due to time constrains but I was able to get information from Anime News Network: Source

This blog has supported all sorts of animation since I make an effort to cover different titles appearing in various festivals and I also work for an animation festival that promotes different types of styles so I’m happy to see LIAF continue to forge ahead with its yearly celebration of animation!!! 

Here are past articles – LIAF 2012 LIAF 2013 LIAF 2015 LIAF 2016 LIAF 2017   LIAF 2018  LIAF 2019

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