'Country Doctor' Tops Awards at Hiroshima Animation Fest

posted on by Egan Loo
Koji Yamamura's latest award; Kato's 'La Maison en Petits Cubes' also awarded

Koji Yamamura's "Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor" short won the highest honor at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which ended in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima on Monday. The film adapts the Czech writer Kafka's early 20th-century short story about a doctor on a tragic journey for a patient. A one-million-yen (about US$9,000) cash award comes with the honor. The short has already won the award for best short film at the Czech Republic's Anifest film festival, the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs' Prize for Excellence in Animation, the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 62nd Mainichi Film Awards, and the grand prizes at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Italy's I Castelli Animati festival.

Kunio Kato won the Hiroshima Prize and the Audience Prize for his short, "La Maison en Petits Cubes." The film tells the story of a grandfather's memories as he adds more blocks to his house to stem the flooding waters. The Hiroshima Prize comes with one million yen (US$9,000), while the Audience prize comes with one hundred thousand yen (US$900). Kato's short also won the Annecy Cristal and a Junior Jury Award at France's Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market in June.

The Hiroshima festival featured a retrospective on manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka with ten short screenings and a discussion with directors Gisaburo Sugii (Night on the Galactic Railroad), Osamu Dezaki (Tomorrow's Joe, Air), Yoshiyuki Tomino (Triton of the Sea, Gundam), Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999, Metropolis), and Ryousuke Takahashi (Hi no Tori/The Phoenix, Flag). Both Yamamura's "Country Doctor" and Kato's "Petits Cubes" were screened at the 16th annual Anima Mundi International Animation Festival in Brazil. The Ottawa International Animation Festival will screen "Petits Cubes" and Yamamura's "A Child's Metaphysics" next month.

Source: Variety

Thank you to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

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