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BAAF: New Guests of Honor

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Excerpted from the Press Release:

Toshio Maeda and Kōichi Ōhata to be Guests of Honor

NEW YORK (July 10, 2001) The creators behind two of the classic anime used in Madonna¹s critically acclaimed Drowned World Tour, Toshio Maeda and Kōichi Ōhata have agreed to attend the first Big Apple Anime Fest, October 26-28, 2001. Clips of some of their most extraordinary work are currently being used as background videos on large screen monitors during Madonna's performances.

Maeda and Ohata are well known throughout the anime industry as pioneers in bringing new styles of visual expression and story telling to the anime genre. The two are widely recognized as major contributors to the success of anime in the U.S. during the last 10 years.

The anime titles were chosen for Madonna¹s tour for their cutting edge style, graphic imagery and popularity among fans. The films used include the Apocalyptic classic, M.D. Geist, the android legend of The Humanoid, and the most famous erotic horror anime of all time, Toshio Maeda's explosive Legend of the Overfiend.

The clips were chosen by Veneno, the production company responsible for the Drowned World Tour video, and facilitated by Central Park Media, the leading supplier of Japanese anime to the U.S.

"Madonna's use of these clips is another strong indication that anime is already becoming the next big thing for people of all ages," said CPM¹s business affairs chief, Gamal Hennessy. "Veneno has remained true to Madonna¹s image of pushing the envelope in every facet of her career. We at CPM are grateful that when the tour is over, there will be a lot more people exposed to this exhilarating genre."
"Central Park Media (CPM) saw what we were trying to accomplish and helped us every step of the way," said Josef Lebeau, Production Manager for Veneno. Dago Gonzalez, Director for Veneno, added, "When we saw Overfiend and M.D. Geist, we knew they were perfect for the show. We were glad to have a partner who would work with us as quickly as CPM did to arrange the appropriate licensing paperwork. The initial response to the footage has been tremendous."

Madonna's Drowned World Tour will take her through Europe and the United States, from June until September, in support of her newest platinum CD, Music. In addition to the live shows, a broadcast tour special is currently being planned with HBO, and a DVD of the show is also scheduled for release.

About Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF):

Taking place over Halloween weekend, October 26 to 28, 2001, at the Directors Guild Theater and other venues in mid-town Manhattan, the Big Apple Anime Fest plans to be the "Cannes Film Festival of the Anime Manga Culture." Japanese animation (anime) is one of the hottest media trends among today's global youth. The Big Apple Anime Fest will include world premieres and historical retrospectives, as anime celebrities, industry executives, and enthusiastic fans launch the annual event. http://www.bigappleanimefest.com

About Toshio Maeda:

Toshio Maeda is the most influential erotic manga artist in Japan, bar none. His classic film, Legend of the Overfiend, is the most recognized adult anime in the world, and is considered the foundation for the entire "erotic-grotesque" genre of Japanese anime. This masterpiece will open the Midnight Anime Concourse segment of the Big Apple Anime Fest, at the Directors Guild Theater on Friday evening, October 26. On Saturday, October 27, Mr. Maeda will present the Keynote Speech at the BAAF Symposium, co-sponsored by the Japan Society. He will also introduce and present a retrospective of his work during the Big Apple Anime Fest at the Park Central Hotel during the BAAF weekend.

About Kōichi Ōhata:

As an expert on cult movies throughout the world, and author of several books on the subject, Kōichi Ōhata brings an informed and global perspective to the creation of internationally acclaimed anime. He is the first anime director in history to have his films released in the United States, prior to release in Japan. Mr. Ohata's films, such as M.D. Geist, have made frequent appearances on Billboard's Best Selling Video Charts, a tribute to his success in the US market. Mr. Ohata will attend the Big Apple Anime Fest as a Guest of Honor, having been invited to participate in a retrospective of his features, which will take place at BAAF.

About Central Park Media (CPM):

Founded in 1990, Central Park Media Corporation is a leading provider of special interest programming to the North American market, via theatrical release, television broadcasting, home video and the Internet. CPM is known as the company most responsible for the home video success of Japanese animation in the past decade, and is also one of the top 10 comic book publishers in the United States, as well as the largest US independent publisher of translated Japanese comics. http://www.centralparkmedia.com

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