Yoshiyuki Tomino at Chicago International Film Festival

LEGENDARY JAPANESE ANIME DIRECTOR YOSHIYUKI TOMINO
TO RECEIVE CAREER ACHIVEMENT IN ANIMATION AWARD AT THE 42ND CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
CEREMONY FOLLOWS THE PREMIERE OF HIS LATEST TRILOGY,
MOBILE SUIT Z GUNDAM

CHICAGO, September 20, 2006 – In anticipation of his appearance at The 42nd Chicago International Film Festival, The Japan America Society of Chicago is busy rolling out the “red carpet” for Yoshiyuki Tomino, a director who has redrawn the landscape of Japanese animation. Tomino, creator of the internationally broadcast Gundam series, will attend the Festival's North American premiere of his Mobile Suit Z Gundam trilogy at the Thorne Auditorium October 7, and will receive a Career Achievement in Animation Award after the screening.
The 42nd Chicago International Film Festival runs from October 5 – 19, 2006 and invites audiences to choose from 98 feature films, 33 shorts and student films, and 14 documentaries, all from more than 30 countries and showcasing both well-known and promising new filmmakers.

YOSHIYUKI TOMINO, INNOVATOR OF JAPANESE ANIMATION
Since its first television broadcast in 1979, the Gundam series has been enormously popular in Japan. The reason is its intricate stories, array of complex characters, supported by carefully crafted plots and sophisticated mechanical designs.
The Gundam series is truly innovative because it has changed the face of animation in Japan.

Before Gundam, TV cartoons consisting of simple morality plays for young children dominated the culture of animation. It was the Gundam series that first proved that TV cartoons can satisfy mature viewers, as multi-character chronicles, through the exploration of abundant and sophisticated themes covering life, death, friendship, family values, and humanism. With his creation of the first Gundam, director Yoshiyuki Tomino revolutionized Japanese animation.

The huge success of Gundam transformed the animation industry itself, becoming a turning point in Japanese cultural history. In this sense, Tomino can be likened to Gene Roddenberry, father of the Star Trek series. Since the passing of the great Osamu Tezuka (famous for Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion), Tomino and Hayao Miyazaki have served as the leaders of Japanese animation. Tomino's impact on the younger generations has been particularly remarkable.
Z GUNDAM NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE IN CHICAGO
Tomino's Mobile Suite Z Gundam I, II, & III films are based on a TV series of the same title, a sequel to the first Gundam. Twenty years after its original broadcast in 1985, Tomino digitally remastered the series, adding extensive additional footage and a new ending and creating another masterpiece.

In Z Gundam, it is seven years after the Earth Federation's victory over the Principality of Zeon.

New battles break out among the Federation's elite fighting unit the Titans, the Zeon military survivors Axis, and the Anti-Earth United Government (AEUG). The protagonist, Kamille Bidan, is a delicate, teenaged Mobile Suit pilot working for the AEUG.
Z Gundam's North American premiere, featuring a rare appearance by the Director in Chicago, was realized by the cooperative efforts of Chicagoans David Ghaussy (Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.) and Sen Yamanaka (Global Vision 21, NFP). Tokyoite Hiroaki Inoue (ONIRO) has also worked tirelessly to support the plan over the past two years.

ANIME FOCUS DEBUTS AT THE 42nd CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The Anime Focus section of the Festival includes not only the screenings but also numerous related events, organized by the Japan America Society of Chicago (JASC), working in conjunction with various Chicago-area colleges including the University of Chicago and Columbia College. Also contributing are the Skokie Public Library, the Chinese American Service League, and Anime Sound & Vision, who helped arrange the Director's participation. In addition, the Anime Focus event has the backing of the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the Japan Foundation.

Japan is often perceived as a nation with an aging population and ailing economy, but the Japan America Society of Chicago hopes to use anime as a vehicle to promote a dynamic, bold, and changing Japan. For many people, anime, or "Japanese animation," may be their only exposure to the culture of Japan. The Japan America Society of Chicago hopes this Anime Focus event, in addition to bridging cultures, will also introduce a new generation to the future of cinema.

For more information about screenings or Director Tomino's visit to Chicago, please visit www.jaschicago.org/anime
For more information and to purchase tickets to the events, visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com .



SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
North American Premiere of Mobile Suit Z Gundam Trilogy
Date and Time: October 7, 2006, 12:00 pm
Mobile Suit Z Gundam I : Heirs to the Stars
Mobile Suit Z Gundam II : Lovers
Mobile Suit Z Gundam III : Love Is the Pulse of the Stars
Director Tomino will be on hand before the screening of each film to introduce his work and after the screenings for an informal Q&A session.
Location: Northwestern University Thorne Auditorium
Address: 375 East Chicago Ave.
Admission to Each Film: $8 for members of Cinema/Chicago, $11 for non-members
Zeta Gundam Trilogy Pass (entry to all three films): $20 for members of Cinema/Chicago, $30 for non-members
Tickets: Ticketmaster
www.ticketmaster.com or 312 - 902 - 1500
Chicago International Film Festival
www.chicagofilmfestival.com or 312 - 332 - 3456
Book Signing at Borders Books
Date and Time: October 6, 2006, 12:30 pm
Come down to State Street during your lunchtime and Director Tomino will be signing copies of his novel Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation, and the DVD Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.
Location: Borders Books (State Street store)
Address: 150 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60601
www.bordersstores.com/stores/store_pg.jsp?storeID=405
Panel Discussion
"Giant Robots and Salarimen: Anime's Social and Economic Impact"
Date and Time: October 6, 2006 at 6:00 pm
Demonstrating the significant impact of the multi-billion dollar Japanese anime industry on
Japanese and American society, the anime panel will feature experts from all facets of the genre
– from creation to production to sales to social impact. These experts, including Director Tomino, will discuss the history of the genre, the cultural effect on Japan and abroad, the problem of translation, and other topics. (English interpretation will be provided.)
PANELISTS: Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hiroaki Inoue (Oniro), Masaki Kaifu (Wowmax Media), Patrick Drazen (author), Laura Miller (Loyola University), Michael Raine (University of Chicago) and Ken Duer (Phuuz Entertainment)
Location: Columbia College Film Row Theater
Address: 1104 South Wabash Avenue, 8th Floor
For Details: Visit www.jaschicago.org/anime/event/default.html
Admission: A free, ticketed event. Tickets must be obtained in advance from the Festival Box Office. Please visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com to reserve tickets.

Premiere Dinner at Lawry's
Date and Time: Friday, October 6, 2006, 8:00 pm
After an exciting day of anime events please join us in honoring Director Tomino for a prime-rib dinner at world-famous Lawry's.
Location: Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant
Address: 100 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tickets: $125 for JASC members, $150 for non-members
For Reservation: Please RSVP by October 2 at JASC 312 - 263 - 3049 or [email protected]
For Details: Visit www.jaschicago.org/anime/event/default.html
Anime Focus brought to you by
The 42nd Chicago International Film Festival (www.chicagofilmfestival.com )
and
The Japan America Society of Chicago (www.jaschicago.org).
Please contact the Japan American Society of Chicago with questions:
[email protected] or 312 - 263 - 3049

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