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Ottawa Animation Fest to Show Shinkai's Neko no Shūkai

posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
Neko's N. American premiere, 6 more shorts, anime retrospective

Neko no Shūkai (Cat's Gathering), the latest short from auteur Makoto Shinkai (Voices of a Distant Star, 5cm per Second), will have its North American premiere at the September 6-16 Ottawa International Animation Festival. This event is the largest animation festival in the United States and Canada. Shinkai's short was first shown in Japan last year as part of the Ani-Kuri 15 collection on the NHK television network in December. It had its international premiere at the Annecy International Festival in June.

Although none of the four feature films in the festival's official selection hail from Japan, there will be six other Japanese animated programs — all short films or commercials — shown throughout the festival's program in addition to Shinkai's entry. These will include Mirai Mizue's independent "Lost Utopia," Oscar-nominated Koji Yamamura's "A Child's Metaphysics," Kunio Katō's "The House of Small Cubes," Taki Kimura's "Kudan," and Yuichi Ito's advertisement spots "Bru Bru Dance" and "Mimi in Wonderland" for the health products company Wakasa Seikatsu and the children's clothing retailer Nishimatsuya, respectively.

The festival will also hold a special program celebrating works by "exciting and eclectic" creators of Japanese animation working outside the traditional studio structure. The program's specific contents have not been announced yet. A panel of leading anime directors, producers, and distributors will select the participating films. The panel is led by Yamamura and Taku Furukawa, whose 1975 "Phenakistoscope" animated short won the Special Judge's Price at Annecy.

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