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BAAF Wrap-up PR

posted on by Christopher Macdonald
Over 3,000 Fans Flock to Weekend-Long Celebration of Anime Manga Culture in New York, interesting Links with AX for 2002.

BAAF has sent out a bit of back patting in the form of the following press release. There is however one very interesting detail in the last paragraph, referring to the 2002 BAAF festivel, taking place on Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). The SPJA organizes and runs Anime Expo, and as you may remember it was announced at the opening ceremonies of this year's AX that as of next year there would be a second Anime Expo in New York City on Labor Day Weekend.

BAAF Press Release:

NEW YORK, November 5, 2001 When The Big Apple Anime Fest (BAAF) wrapped up on Sunday, October 28th, it was apparent to all that the anime festival had far exceeded all expectations. After the events of September 11th, the show's organizers declared that they "would not let New York down," and they certainly did not! Instead, they brought approximately 3,500 anime culture fans to New York from around the world. These people proved their faith in the city by participating non-stop in this first annual weekend-long celebration of Anime Manga Culture.

BAAF started with a bang on Thursday, October 25th as Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined in the festivities at an autograph signing at the Grand Re-opening of J&R Music World. The Mayor modeled the BAAF 2001 Charity T-shirt, sales of which raised more than $2,100 for the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.

The excitement continued to grow from that point on, with autograph signings throughout the weekend that drew huge crowds to the Virgin Megastore in Times Square where fans were able to meet and greet their favorite voice actors from anime films.

These included:
Eric Stuart--supplier of the voice of "Brock," one of the lead characters from Pokemon and co-lead "Gourry" in The Slayers

Rachael Lillis--an actress best known for her portrayal of the title character in Revolutionary Girl Utena

Crispin Freeman--provider of voices for characters in countless anime films including major roles in Revolutionary Girl Utena and The Slayers

Matt K. Miller- best known as "Tenchi" in Tenchi Muyo, and for roles in three Miyazaki classics, Kiki¹s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke

Lisa Ortiz- has voiced some of the most beloved characters in anime including Lisa Inverse of The Slayers and mystical Deedlit from Record of Lodoss War

Jessica Calvello- Notable performances include the mainstream hit Pokemon, as well as Labyrinth of Flames, Boogie Pop Phantom, Cutey Honey and more.

Mandy Bonhomme- fans are passionate about her characterizations in Revolutionary Girl Utena- The Movie, Boogiepop Phantom, Knights of Ramune, Ayane¹s High Kick and the ever-popular The Slayers Next

Asia Carrera and Kobe Tai, voice actresses for Shusaku and Koihime, who also served as the Opening Night Guests of Honor for the Midnight Anime Concourse.

And what film festival is complete without screenings? Over the weekend, fans attended over 250 hours of screenings, many of which were sold out, including the highly anticipated North American premiere of the full-length anime feature, Metropolis. Not only did the audience at BAAF see the
critically acclaimed film before its formal release by Tri-Star Pictures, but director Rintaro and animation producer Masao Maruyama made a rare trip to America to New York City and personally introduced the U.S. premiere of Metropolis at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theater on Friday evening.

Other international guests of honor also made the trip to New York for BAAF. They included Toshio Maeda, the creator of the groundbreaking Urotsukidoji saga and legendary anime director Yuji Moriyama, creator of such anime classics as Macross and Geobreeders. Also in attendance was Rusher Ikeda, producer of such favorites as Demon Beast Invasion, La Blue Girl, Revenge of the Demon Beast, Lady Blue and Twin Angels. Rounding out BAAF¹s impressive Guest of Honor list was Kunihiko Ikuhara, the visual genius behind the Sailor Moon the series and Sailor Moon R the Movie as well as the Revolutionary Girl Utena series and movie. He presented the World Premiere of the English language version of Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie, to a standing room only audience. Emmy-nominated animator and comic book creator Tim Eldred represented the American side of the Anime Manga Culture creative experience, hosting the Anime DVD Shootout, as well as presenting The Complete Votoms panel.

The Big Apple Anime Fest offered up exciting activities for anime enthusiasts beyond screenings and signings. A dealer room at the Park Central New York Hotel included over forty dealer booths that held special events and offered Anime fans thousands of bargain prices on anime videos, DVDs, comics, posters and more. The Cosplay on Broadway contest on Saturday night attracted throngs of anime fans who spilled out into the street outside the DGA Theater hoping to catch a glimpse of the outrageous outfits donned by enthusiasts impersonating their favorite anime characters. Winners walked away with prizes ranging from anime movie packages to DVD players.

While the fans now rest up after a fun-filled, whirlwind weekend of anime adventure, Big Apple Anime Fest organizers are already gearing up to bring an even bigger and better BAAF 2002 to New York City on Labor Day Weekend, 2002, in association with the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA).

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