Japanese Animation Fest Picks Nuclear Accident Theme

posted on by Egan Loo
Tokyo's Laputa Int'l Animation Festival makes Fukushima accident this year's theme

The Laputa International Animation Festival in Tokyo announced on Saturday that its theme this year will be the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The festival's 11th annual outing began accepting open submissions under the "Fukushima Animation" theme. Launched in 2000, the festival aims to uncover and foster new animation talent in Japan with screenings and workshops.

Tokyo and other parts of Japan have been undergoing scheduled power outages and conservation efforts since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) of March 11. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, staff members have been working to prevent the reactor fuel rods from melting after the cooling systems were damaged by the earthquake-induced tsunami.

Ryō Saitani, a festival organizer, manga creator, and a prominent anti-nuclear power activist, noted that the nuclear power industry have used manga to promote its safety, especially after the Chernobyl nuclear power accident in 1986. The festival organizers emphasize the threat of radiation in Tokyo from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, although the government and independent surveys have reported normal background radiation levels in Tokyo since the accident.

The fesitval is accepting (PDF format) animated shorts until the end of August. Both professionals and amateurs can enter two-dimensional, three-dimensional, hybrid, and computer animated entries.

Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki mounted his own protest of nuclear power last week. (The Laputa International Animation Festival is named after the Laputa Asagaya theater in Tokyo and not after Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky film.)

Source: Cinema Today

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