Japan Expands Grant Program for Video Projects Aimed at Global Market

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Program's 3 areas of support include pilot film projects

Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) began accepting applications on Friday for a new grant program abbreviated as "Japan Content Localization and Distribution" (J-LOD) from the Japanese government's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The program expands on the previous "Japan Content Localization and Promotion" (J-LOP) grant program for the anime and video industry.

The new grant program aims to provide support to Japan's content industry in light of the current distribution of Japanese works on video platforms simultaneously worldwide. The program has three main areas that it plans to support: localization and promotion in overseas development of content, production of pilot videos for content aiming to expand overseas, and development of highly innovative content that uses digital technology.

The first area of support continues the J-LOP program that began in 2014. The J-LOP program has aided in the localization of works including anime, and promoted their overseas releases at international trade fairs and culture events.

The second area of support for the new grant program is an initiative that began in 2018. Due to the trend toward internationalization, the number of Japanese video projects (i.e. anime, films, television programs) that involve foreign joint production or foreign investments has increased in recent years. Pilot Films help to show the overall vision for projects, and they are involved in the process to pitch works to foreign companies. The grants cover half of the expenses to produce these pilot works.

The third area is projects that utilize technology. The technology area is further divided into three sections: content that uses digital technology, content distribution systems that use blockchain technology, and systems that optimize content production processes.

The existing pilot film initiative awarded 36 grants last year. Past related grant recipients also include Mont Blanc Pictures Co.,Ltd.'s CG-animated Chad & Clark's Adventure Island series (seen left), the beta version of New Deer's My Exercise game based on animator Atsushi Wada's creations, and BILBA's theatrical long pilot Bungaku Shōnen to Sho o Kuu Shōjo (Literature Boy and the Girl Who Eats Books).

VIPO is holding informational meetings about the J-LOD program with no pre-registration required.

Sources: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo), VIPO's website

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