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Production I.G's Pigtails Anime Wins Special Jury Award From NA Film Awards

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Short film made international debut at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival in April 2016

The North American Film Awards (NAFA) revealed on November 30 that Pigtails, Production I.G's animated short film based on Machiko Kyō's Mitsuami no Kami-sama (Braided Pig-Tail Deity) manga, was awarded the Special Jury Award for this year's awards. It was one of 39 winners.

The goal of NAFA is to recognize achievements in independent filmmaking. The awards are decided by a jury of industry professionals from the United States and Canada.

Pigtails has won multiple awards, including the Diamond Award in the Animated Film category at the 2016 California Film Awards.

The short made its international debut in April 2016 at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, where it won the Platinum Remi Award in the Classic Cel Animation Category. The 20th annual Fantasia International Film Festival also screened the short from July-August 2016 in Montreal. The film screened at the New York Japan CineFest event on June 2.

Production I.G describes the short:

The earth shook. The sea roared. And then... There is a small house solitary standing by the seaside. A pigtail-braided girl is living there alone since that day. Mail is no longer delivered, but even this morning, she's hanging out the laundry as usual.

The 28-minute animation was part of a mixed-media stage production that ran in Tokyo in October 2015. Yoshimi Itazu (Miss Hokusai chief animation director) helmed the short film for his directorial debut.

The stage production combined line readings, animation, music, and sand art to present the story. Production I.G was a co-producer of the stage play, and has international rights for the whole play, but will focus on the animation part only.

Kyō's original Mitsuami no Kami-sama manga centers around a pigtailed girl who lives alone in a solitary house by the sea after a disaster that is never specified. The manga is a reflection of Kyō's personal feelings toward the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, although it is never explicitly stated in the story, out of consideration for those affected by the disaster.

Kyō published the manga in Shueisha's now-defunct Jump X (Jump Kai) magazine in 2013, and Shueisha published the manga's first and only compiled book volume in the same year. The manga won an award in the 18th Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize in March 2014.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

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