15th Animation Division Critiques
An annual evolution of expressive techniques
This was the first time in the 15 years of the Japan Media Arts Festival that I was able to serve as a member of the jury. Rarely being able to come into contact with such a broad range of the animation work being produced today, I found the opportunity most appealing. Most of all, I had hoped that I might be able to draw some creative energy from the work of so many active animators.
In the last few years, and for a variety of reasons, production conditions in the animation-as-entertainment industry in which I work-- theatrical animation and television series-- has grown appreciably worse. So I was very surprised at the large number of entries. I was also impressed with the resourcefulness with which creators overcame the production conditions given and took on challenging content. Animated short film entries were received not only from Japanese creators but also from those in other countries such as France and South Korea.
Animation methods and technique continue to evolve with each passing year, and I sense that computer graphics technology is now firmly established in the realm of animation as cinematic expression. Looking to the future of animation culture, one issue for the Agency of Cultural Affairs will be how to ensure that efforts like the Japan Media Arts Festival are more than mere events and lead to support for artists and the industry.