Naoyoshi Shiotani's Directorial Debut "Tokyo Marble Chocolate" wins Grand Prize at the I2th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF 2OO8)

May 26th 2008

Naoyoshi Shiotani's bittersweet romantic comedy TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE (2007), produced by Production I.G and BMG Japan, was awarded the Grand Prize in the Feature Film Category of the 12th Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF 2008), held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from May 21 to 25, 2008. The jury was composed by Giannalberto Bendazzi (professor of History of Animation at Milano State University), Noriko T. Wada (Japanese producer) and Kyung-jo Min (Korean director). The award ceremony took place in Seoul on May 25, 2008. TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE is Naoyoshi Shiotani's directorial debut, and it is Production I.G's 20th Anniversary Special Project.

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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
I would like to express the great joy that filled our hearts -mine and my staff's- as we heard the wonderful news coming from Seoul. The two main characters of this movie start the very same day with a completely different state of mind: - Today I'm going to tell her "I love you" - Today I'm going to tell him "goodbye"

I believe that this kind of situation is quite likely to occur in reality. Just when we finally make up our mind and decide to tell our feelings, it turns up to be too late... A little misunderstanding escalates into a quarrel, that could have been avoided by saying just “sorry”.

This project, TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE started with the idea of telling a story based on these experiences that we all have been through at least once in our life.

If Tokyo Marble Chocolate is able to touch your heart just a little bit after you have watched it, then there could not be greatest reward for the people who made this movie.

Thank you very much for this prestigious recognition to our work. We all feel very honoured.

Komapsamnida!

Naoyoshi Shiotani

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ABOUT NAOYOSHI SHIOTANI - Born in 1977, he's one of Production I.G's most promising young creators. His main works include "Windy Tales" (2004) and "Blood+" (2005), for which he also directed the kaleidoscopic third opening film, "Colors of the Hearts" selected in competition for the 11th Holland Animation Film Festival. Other notable works include "Tsubasa Chronicle - The Princess of the Birdcage Kingdom" (2005, key animator), "Le Chevalier D'Eon" (2006, episode director), "Tekkon Kinkreet" (2006, key animator) and "Ghost Hound" (2007, Ghost designer). Tokyo Marble Chocolate is Shiotani's directorial debut. He's a soft-spoken nice guy with a naughty boy inside.

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STORY - Yudai is serious and generous, but too shy with girls, and has always been unable to Say, "I Love You". Chizuru is a cheerful girl, but when it comes to boyfriends, she's always been clumsy, and repeatedly dumped. This is the first Christmas the young couple spends together. But everything in their life is going to change because of... a mini donkey?! The film is divided into two episodes that follow a simultaneous timeline. The first episode follows the story from Yudai's perspective, and is inspired by pop duo SUKIMASWITCH's song "Zenryoku Syounen" (Full-Powered Boy) that portrays a young boy who breaks his defensive shell open and runs for the future. The second episode tells exactly the same events, but as seen through Chizuru's eyes, and is inspired by hip-hop artist SEAMO's song "Mata Aimasyou" (See You Again), describing the mixed feelings just before the anticipated separation from the loved one. A pure love story, colorful and sweet, yet a bit bitter. Just like a piece of chocolate.

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STAFF Original Story: Production I.G / Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani (Blood+, Le Chevalier D'Eon) / Screenplay: Masaya Ozaki (Love Generation) / Character Designer: Fumiko Tanikawa (Ohitorisama Monogatari) / Character Designer / Animation Director: Kyoji Asano (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) / Color Setting: Idumi Hirose (Innocence, Le Chevalier D'Eon) / Art Director: Shichiro Kobayashi (Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro) / 3D CGI: Atsushi Sato (Innocence) / Songs: “Mata Aimasyou” (See You Again) by SEAMO and “Zenryoku Syounen” (Full-Powered Boy) by SUKIMASWITCH / Music: Takeshi Yanagawa / Animation Production: Production I.G Produced by: Tokyo Marble Chocolate Production Committee (c) 2007 Production I.G / Project Tokyo Marble Chocolate

ABOUT SICAF - Since its inception in 1995, SICAF has been the gateway to introduce a big range of world animation and debut promising talented films, and aims at one of Asia's biggest international animated film festivals, presenting new technology and new trends of animated films. SICAF is an ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation) recognized film festival that attracts more than 100,000 visitors and participants every year. This year, the festival received 1307 applications from 63 countries, and 137 works have been selected for the various competitive sections. Official Website: http://www.sicaf.org/2008/index.jsp

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ABOUT PRODUCTION I.G - Established by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa in 1987, Production I.G is one of the world's leading animation studios. With its cutting-edge works, such as "Ghost in the Shell" (1995), "Jin-Roh" (2000), "Blood: The Last Vampire" (2000), "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" (animation segment, 2003) and "Innocence" (2004), I.G has gained high reputation around the globe, inspiring Hollywood creators such as James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino and the Wachowski brothers. Official Website: http://www.production-ig.com


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