Tekkonkinkreet to Screen in NY, Honolulu, LA, Portland

posted on by Egan Loo
First feature anime film by non-Japanese director in Japan

After a successful theatrical run of Tekkonkinkreet in Japan, Studio 4°C and Sony Pictures are testing the waters for a North American release by showing the experimental film in four American cities. The first public showings in the Western Hemisphere will be at New York City's Museum of Modern Art between Wednesday, April 25 and Monday, April 30. The film will also screen April 26 at the Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu. The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will next host the film in California on May 6. Although the schedule has not been confirmed, Portland's Platform International Animation Festival is also planning to screen the film in Oregon in late June along with hosting Studio 4°C head Eiko Tanaka as a competition juror.

The film is based on Taiyo Matsumoto's manga by the same name, which VIZ released in English under the title Black & White. A decade after the manga's release, director Michael Arias convinced the rest of Studio 4°C, including his mentor Koji Morimoto (Memories' "Magnetic Rose," Macross Plus concert animation), to adapt this tale about the soul of a rundown yet vibrant city. Studio 4°C is most famous for working on Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories and The Animatrix, but it also worked on some avant garde titles such as Noiseman Sound Insect and the upcoming Genius Party movies.

While several foreign companies have contracted Japanese studios to animate features such as The Last Unicorn and Transformers the Movie, Michael Arias is the first foreigner to direct an animated feature from within a Japanese studio itself. He previously produced The Animatrix and developed the cel-shading software used by Studio Ghibli. Interviews with Michael Arias are available at The Japan Times, Anipages, and PingMag.

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