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Montreal's Fantasia Festival Screens Saku Sakamoto's Aragne: Sign of Vermilion Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Festival also screened Shinya Sugai, Production I.G's "Walking Meat" short

The Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Canada screened Saku Sakamoto's Aragne: Sign of Vermilion (Aragne no Mushikago) film, as well as Shin'ya Sugai's "Walking Meat" short anime on Sunday. The screening of Aragne: Sign of Vermilion at the festival was the film's world premiere.

Fantasia Festival describes Aragne: Sign of Vermilion:

Life could be better for shy, anxious university student Rin. The apartment she has rented is hardly the sunny palace the rental listings suggested. The housing complex is rundown, grim and haunted by troubled souls lurking in dark corners. Ghastly crimes are occurring in the vicinity. And a grinning stranger makes his unsettling presence known. Beyond all this, Rin is coming to realize that something even more sinister is manifesting itself, something at the cursed crossroads of mythology, monstrosity and medical science. Determined to find out more, Rin visits the library, where she meets a sympathetic young staffer. But what she learns does not begin to put her mind at ease.

Sakamoto directed the film based on his original concept and script. He also personally produced the animation and music for the film. Few anime productions of more than 60 minutes have been produced by one person in the past. Film director and author Osamu Fukutani supervised production.

Kana Hanazawa voices the film's heroine Rin. Other cast members include Ayana Shiramoto as the mysterious girl Nasuha, Yousuke Itou as folklore researcher Tokiyo, Fukujurō Katayama as the shaman Saion, and Shōgo Batori as Mikaya, a young man with secrets.

The staff ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to help fund the anime on the Japanese crowdfunding platform Makuake. The project met its 2 million yen (about US$17,800) goal in March 2017. The staff then ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for an English translation and funds to screen the film at festivals. The campaign ran from last September to October.

Sakamoto began working as a freelance anime creator in 2002. He directed NHK's Minna no Uta. He also worked on 3D computer graphics for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and created a tourism anime short for Matsuyama City in 2014.

Production I.G describes "Walking Meat:"

Humanity has grown a taste for zombies.
Stewed, sautéed or squeezed.

In an alternate world, the Japanese corporation Flesh Inc. has managed to create zombies on domestic soil during the roaring Sixties (the years of the economic boom) using voodoo techniques imported from Africa, and it has built a fortune thereafter by selling zombie products of all kind: instant noodles, soft drinks, hamburgers, pet food, and cosmetics.
But when a trio of self-centered millennials on their first workday get trapped inside a fully automated zombie farm with their old-school technotard supervisor and a horde of undead running amok, overcoming generation gaps becomes a matter of survival.

The film is Sugai's directorial debut. The screening at the Fantasia Festival was the film's North American premiere. The film had its international premiere at the Bucheon International Film Festival on July 13.

Sugai has worked as a 3D animator or director in such anime as Eden of the East, Blood-C, 009 Re:Cyborg, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Gatchaman Crowds insight, Joker Game, Phantom of the Kill -Zero Kara no Hangyaku-, Napping Princess, and The Ancient Magus' Bride.

Source: Fantasia Festival (link 2)


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