Animation festivals have an under discussed role in the ecosystem of anime, allowing artists to showcase more experimental and less commercial short works. One of these venues is the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which has offered a platform for greats going back to Osamu Tezuka. This year, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo is presenting some of his new "Short Peace."
The "Short Peace" anthology, produced by the Gundam folks at Sunrise, brings together talents like Redline’s Katsuhito Ishii, Freedom's Shuhei Morita and Super Robot Wars mechanical designer Hajime Katoki.
Otomo's 13-minute segment "Hi-no-youjin" will be screened at Hiroshima. It concerns an Edo era fire fighter brought together with his childhood love during the Great Fire of Meireki, which destroy more than half of the capital.
Morita's "Tsukumo" segement was previously shown at France's Annecy Film Festival in June.
From their description:
One night in the 18th Century, deep in the mountains, a man loses his way and comes across a small shrine. As he enters, the space transforms into a room of a different world.
The event runs August 23-27 at Aster Plaza. "Hi-no-youjin" will be shown on the last day as part of a showcase of contemporary Japanese animation. The honorary president of this 14th festival is Wallace & Gromit's Peter Lord. Lord lauded the event on its website and says he is particularly delighted that "youthful energy continually challenges the assumptions of older generations."
Lord's Adam (1992), Wat's Pig (1996), and a new piece The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) will be screened. International judges at the event include animated films director Aleksandra Korejwo and filmmaker Igor Kovalyov.
Osamu Tezuka's 'Broken Down Film' won an award at the 1st Hiroshima International Animation Festival in 1985.