25th Animation Division Critiques

Adventurous Works Created in Diverse Fields

This year’s entries had an abundance of excellent
works, making it hard to select award winners. However, we were ultimately able to determine Award-winning
Works and Jury Selections from each field (feature film,
short film, and TV series) in a well-balanced manner.
The Grand Prize-winning short film from Iran, The
Fourth Wall, is a complex fusion of live action and various animation expressions. This film was highly praised
as it profoundly provides a sense of the pristine comfort
of animation to “animate inanimate objects” and innovatively produces a visual experience never seen before.
The story and direction of the Excellence Awardwinner, Sonny Boy, are quite daring for a television
series, successfully portraying an unrealistic world with
a unique and thrilling reality. Another Excellence Awardwinning feature film, FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO,
cleverly incorporates “exaggeration” to transform an
otherwise graphic and tragic subject into a humorous, easy-to-watch, and moving one. Both were highly
esteemed for their enthusiasm to “tell a story through
visual expressions unique to animation.
” Dozens of
Norths, the first feature film by director YAMAMURA
Koji, who has produced many short films, took the jury
members by surprise with its composition and direction
that departs from the standard tactics of feature films.
The New Face Award winners were also outstanding. In particular, A Bite of Bone, created with beautiful
and striking pointillism and a transparent effect, brought
me the joy of a new filmmaker’s birth and expectations
for her future work. PUI PUI MOLCAR won the Social
Impact Award not only for its excellent character design, story, and animation but also for the popularity of
this short children’s TV program among diverse people
of all nationalities and ages, gained through online distribution and social media.
The judging session was very meaningful and reassured the jury that many promising films are being
produced in various fields, expanding the possibilities
of animation expression.

Producer and CEO, CALF Co., Ltd.
Born in Tokyo, 1978. He studied video at Image Forum and graduated from Tokyo Zokei University. His graduation work entitled Consultation Room won First Prize in the Campus Genius Contest, earned a Jury Selection at the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival, and was screened during the Directors' Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival and at many other international film festivals. In 2009, his animated short film HAND SOAP earned many awards--including the Grand Prix at the Holland Animation Film Festival, the Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, and a Special Prize at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival--and was also a Jury Selection at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival. He is a full-time lecturer at Image Forum and representative director of CALF Co., Ltd.