Kotatsu Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration

Fusako Yusaki

Kotatsu Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration

Held virtually on October 24th & 25th in Partnership with The Japan Foundation London.

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival started in 2010 in Cardiff, and has been held every year as a showcase for Japanese animation and culture. Celebrating its 10th anniversary however comes in the midst of a global pandemic and so the decision was taken to hold the festival fully online. One of the goals since the festival’s inception has been to act as a gateway into the diverse world of Japanese animation. To achieve this, they showcase emerging talent and important but overshadowed animators who work in a wide variety of styles, from 2D to stop-motion. The 2020 festival will be the biggest celebration of this talent yet. 

On October 24th and 25th, viewers will be able to participate in the full line-up of screenings and events, all of which will be free to access via their YouTube channel and through various Zoom sessions. In total, they will be screening 37 films, including 28 works from students studying at 5 different Japanese universities, and 9 works from 5 award-winning animators, including Oscar nominated Koji Yamamura and Shin Hosokawa. Furthermore, these works will be introduced by the creators themselves as the festival aims to continue in its mission to connect animators with audiences. 

A very exciting series of Zoom workshops will also be hosted by veteran animators who are bringing their very latest works to the festival. The workshops will cover a range of fun activities such as one dedicated to the art of creating the Kotatsu Festival mascot design by Chie Arai, while world famous Fusako Yusaki talks about her career in claymation animation with a Q&A Session. There is also a talk with animator/director Miho Yata and musician Takeshi Yoda. 

People will be able to participate in the full line-up of the screenings and events, all of which will be free, via our YouTube channel and through Zoom sessions. 

This will also be the first time that Kotatsu collaborates with F-Rated, an organisation dedicated to supporting women in film by working with cinemas and film festivals to give moviegoers a way to identify films and events that fairly represent women on screen and behind the camera. We have secured an F-Rating for our ongoing campaign to show the works of female film makers and also for this event where more than half of the films were directed by women. 

Here is the full line-up of events: 

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 10th Anniversary Timetable 

(All times are UK/GMT – Japan +7 hours ahead) 

24th October 

11:00 YouTube Screening – Films by Koji Yamamura, Shin Hosokawa, Miho Yata, Chie Arai, Makiko Sukikara 

13:00 Zoom Event – Miho Yata / Takeshi Yoda – Director & Musician Q&A 

18:00 YouTube Screening – Student Work (Part 1) 

25th October 

12:00 Zoom Event – Chie Arai Animation Workshop 

14:00 Zoom Event – Fusako Yusaki Director Q&A and Clay Animation Workshop 

16:00 YouTube Screening – Student Work (Part 2) 

18:00 YouTube Screening – Films by Koji Yamamura, Shin Hosokawa, Miho Yata, Chie Arai, Makiko Sukikara 

We will reveal the full line-up of the titles and events on the festival’s website soon.

The Animators and Musician 

Yamamura Koji (山村 浩二

After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1987, he founded Yamamura Animation, Inc. in 1993 and has worked steadily, refining his style while making films for children. His most famous work is the short “Mount Head” (2002) which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Other titles include “Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor” (2007) and “Muybridge’s Strings” (2011). His films have been awarded more than 90 prizes including the grand prizes of major international animation festivals such as Annecy, Ottawa and Hiroshima. He has also received the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government in 2019. He is member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a professor of Tokyo University of the Arts. 

Yusaki Fusako (湯崎 夫沙子

Yusaki is an award-winning claymation pioneer who emerged in the 1960s after moving to Milan and establishing her own independent studio, Studio Yusaki. Her works consist of commercials, films, and children’s television programmes which were made for public broadcasters such as RAI and NHK. Yusaki’s famous works include claymation advertisements for the liqueur Fernet-Branca, and “Peo the Blue Dog”, a popular TV character in Switzerland. Yusaki will lead a claymation workshop and do a Q&A with Kotatsu. 

Yata Miho (やた みほ

Born 1974, Yata studied Children’s Literature and Children’s Culture at university. While studying, she was inspired by “Wallace and Gromit” and started to have an interest on stop motion animation. In 1999 she started knit-animation and creating picture books. Since then, she has become famous for “Wool Fairies Knit and Wool”(NHK・NEP)and the picture books “Sakasa mo Sakasa” (Demadosha Co.,Ltd.) “What is This Yan?”(CHILD HONSHA Co.,Ltd.). She is currently a member of the Japan Animation Association and she is teaching at Shirayuri University Department of Children’s Culture. 

Hosokawa Shin (細川 晋

A graduate of Tama Art University’s Master’s Program Design Course, he now works as a writer, director, animator and is an assistant professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University. His latest work, “Dino!”, a stop motion animation, has been programmed by Kotatsu. Arai Chie (荒井 知恵

A graduate from the Department of Fine Arts, Northern Arizona University, after working at an animation studio, Arai has been a freelancer since 2002. Her techniques include hand-drawn animation and illustration and she creates books and animation videos including “Dreams” (2008), which has been programmed by Kotatsu. Since 2006, she has been orchestrating “Flip Book Manga Cafe Exhibition”, a collective of writers and artists who love to make wonderfully varied flip books. Their exhibitions have been held in many places. As well as creating her own art, she guides others and works as an associate professor at Bunka Gakuen University Department of Art and Design. 

Sukikara Makiko (鋤柄真希子

Born in 1982, Sukikara studied at the Film School Zlin in the Czech Republic. Since 2010, she has been animating and has created works by multiplane camera, many of which have been screened at international festivals. She creates stories with animals as the main characters with titles like “While the Crow Weeps” (2013) and “Deep Sea’s Rainbow” (2019). The latter has been programmed for Kotatsu’s forthcoming stream. 

Yoda Takeshi (ヨダタケシ

Yoda is a composer who plays an electronic instrument known as a theremin, a device that makes sound without the musician touching it. He is active across genres and creates music for video works as well as for live events. He will be in a Q&A with Miho Yata during a Kotatsu Zoom session. 

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival relies on sponsors and donors to help us deliver screenings. If you would like to show your support, you can do so with a voluntary contribution at the festival’s Patreon page. Alternatively you can support the festival without paying extra money by signing up to Easyfundrasing and choosing to support Kotatsu. When you shop via Easyfundrasing website, a percentage of your purchase will be automatically donated to the festival. If you are shy, you can choose a setting that allows you to be an anonymous supporter. 

Download the press release here

Notes to Editor

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival was created by organizer Mrs Eiko Ishii Meredith. Launched in November 2010 at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, UK, the festival screens the best in Japanese animation and culture to a wide audience. In 2020, the festival successfully registered as a charity in the UK (Registered Charity Number 1187288). 

A ‘Kotatsu‘ is a table unique to Japan, which is draped in a blanket, futon or quilt, with a heater underneath. It’s ideal to keep your feet and legs warm while you are working away on the cold winter nights.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Eiko Meredith on 07597929989, or email info@kotatsufestival.com

More information: 

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 

Charitable Incorporated Organisation 

Registered Charity Number 1187288 

Find us on Facebook Twitter Website

^
EN