Oscar Nominee Koji Yamamura Receives Kawakita Award
posted on 2012-07-08 20:30 EDT by Lynzee Loveridge
The Kawakita Memorial Film Institute named Academy Award-nominated anime director Koji Yamamura as the recipient of the 30th annual Kawakita Award on Tuesday. Named for the late film producer Nagamasa Kawakita, his wife Kashiko, and daughter Tawako, the award is given to individuals whose body of work contributed greatly to developing the art and culture of Japanese cinema, or opens the doors for international exchange through film.
This is the first time that an animator is receiving this award. Yamamura is being honored due to his astonishing techniques as well as the subtle humor and originality found in his stories.
His 2007 short A Country Doctor won best short film at Czech Republic's Anifest film festival in 2008, and was also the winner of the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs' Prize for Excellence in Animation, took the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 62nd Mainichi Film Awards, and received grand prizes at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Italy's I Castelli Animati fest.
Yamamura received an Academy Award nod in 2003 for his short Mt. Head, although he did not win. He remains the only Japanese animator besides Hayao Miyazaki and Kunio Katō to be nominated for an Oscar.