Hiroshima International Animation Festival is held every year in August. It is a much-loved event for animation filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world.
The festival takes place every two years in the city of Hiroshima, Japan. This city is known as being the site of the first ever atomic bomb attack during the Second World War. Today, it has become an outlet for unity through the arts. The main venue of the event is at the Aste Plaza near the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park at the heart of Hiroshima City.
The Hiroshima International Animation Festival was established by the Association International du Film d’Animation (ASIFA). Operating under the core values of Love and Peace, the festival has been an advocate of the improvement of visual art media culture and the promotion of animation art.
The festival was named “International Animation Festival for World Peace”. It ranks among the world’s most respected animation festivals, including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films.
The event attracts filmmakers from all across the globe. This year, the festival was proud to announce that they had received 2,842 entries from 88 countries and regions. A total of 75 animated films from 35 countries and regions were chosen for the competition.
The International Selection Committee chooses these films through Preliminary Selection. The festival is also a qualifier for an Academy Award, so the best film from select competitions will be eligible for an Oscar nomination.
This 2018 marks the 17th celebration of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival. The jury members of this year’s International Selection Committee are Kine Aune, Film and Theatre Director from Norway, Ferran Gellart, Art director from Spain, Menno de Nooijer, Visual Artist from the Netherlands, Cristina Lima, Festival Programmer of CINANIMA International Animation Festival in Portugal, and Makiko Nagao, Animation Production and Research Director from Japan.
The festival will also run special programs, exhibitions of artworks, educational film market, workshops, symposiums and seminars for participants to exchange ideas and screen their works.
Forty years after the historical World War II atomic bombing, the ASIFA and the city of Hiroshima developed an idea to achieve world peace and to support worldwide mutual understanding through the improvement of animation art. With this idea, the Hiroshima International Animation Festival was founded in 1985.
The creation of the festival was spearheaded by Sayoko Kinoshita and her late husband Renzo Kinoshita. Both are widely known in the animated film industry. Renzo Kinoshita was a previous Board Member of the ASIFA and the President of the ASIFA-Japan conference.
Sayoko Kinoshita was the former General Secretary of ASIFA-Japan and was the director of the inaugural festival. Today, she serves as the President of ASIFA-Japan conference and the Vice President of ASIFA.
The first and the second festivals took place in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The next event took place in 1990 and has been happening every two years in even years since then.
The first winner of the Grand Prize in 1985 was the “Broken Down Film” by Osamu Tezuka. He was then invited to join the official competition jury for the next festival. This has become the trend of the festival ever since. The grand prize winners get the chance to become a member of the jury for the following festival.
The festival has been gaining in popularity. In 2010, it received 1,937 submissions from 57 countries and regions. The 2010 festival had more than 34,000 attendees.
In 2016, the 16th Hiroshima International Animation Festival had about 33,129 participants and has received about 2,248 entries from 78 countries and regions.
Programs, Awards, and Past Winners
The 17th Hiroshima International Animation Festival offers the following programs during the course of the event:
- Official Competition Program
- Special Program of Short Films and Feature Animation with Screening and Talk Show
- Love (1963) by Yoji Kuri
- Harpya (1979) by Raoul Servais
- The Red Turtle(2016) by Michael Dudok de Wit
- Paradise (1984) by Ishu Patel
- Big Tyll (1980) by Rein Raamat
- Best of the World- film showing of the greatest and recent animation works all over the world
- Contemporary Japanese Animation
- Stars of Students- features works of young and aspiring filmmakers
- Animation for Children
- Animation for Peace
- “Vimeo Staff Picks”- This is led by Vimeo’s Senior Curator Jeffrey Bowers and will also present a selection of works.
- Animation Project by Children from Around the World
- “A Funny Story”- Done by 10 children from various countries under the ASIFA Workshop Group Project 2017.
- Free Spaces for Promotion and Exchange
- Education Film Market
- Kid’s Clips- open workshop and film showing for children
- Computer Animation Making World
The following are the awards given to the selected winners in the Official Competition Program.
- Grand Prize- 1 winner of 1,000,000 Yen
- Hiroshima Prize- 1 winner of 1,000,000 Yen
- Debut Prize- 1 winner of 500,000 Yen
- Renzo Kinoshita Prize- 1 winner of 300,000 Yen
- Audience Prize- Winner(s) of 100,000 Yen
- Special International Jury Prize(s)
- Special Prize(s)
Here are the most recent recipients of the Competition Awards:
- 2016- The Empty (South Korea). Directed by Jeong Dahee
- 2014- The Bigger Picture (United Kingdom). Directed by Daisy Jacobs
- 2012- I Saw Mice Burying a Cat (Russia). Directed by Dmitry Geller
- 2014- Symphony No. 42 (Hungary). Directed by Reka Bucsi
- 2012- Kali the Little Vampire (Portugal, France, Canada, Switzerland). Directed by Regina Pessoa
How to Enter Your Film
There are two ways to submit your film to the Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
- Online Entry- This lets you fill out the form through the festival’s official website
- Printed/PDF Entry- The printed entry form can be obtained from the festival office. The PDF forms, whether typed or handwritten, can be downloaded from the official website.
The call for entries for the 2018 festival began on February 1, 2018, and ended on April 1, 2018. Stay tuned for announcements in the official website for the opening of film submissions for the 2020 festival.
The list of general rules can also be downloaded as a PDF file from the website. For all other questions and for additional information on film submissions, you can visit the following link:
The Hiroshima International Animation Festival will begin on August 23, 2018, and will end on August 27, 2018. See you there!
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