Japan Cuts Film Festival Screens On-Gaku Anime Film

posted on by Alex Mateo
Japan Cuts festival begins screening film online on July 17

The Japan Society revealed on Wednesday that it will screen Kenji Iwaisawa's On-Gaku: Our Sound, the anime film adaptation of Hiroyuki Ohashi's "ON-GAKU" manga, online as part of the JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film event. The film will begin screening when the festival begins on July 17, and the event will run until July 30.

GKIDS will release the film in North America this year, and it describes the story:

When you're a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock 'n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out.
Ohashi announced the film project in 2012, and launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Makuake website in July 2018. The campaign sought to raise 3.5 million yen (about US$31,000) to finish and edit the film by 2019. The campaign ended in September 2018, and raised 4,129,000 yen (about US$38,166).

The film opened in Japan on January 11. The film ranked at #3 in the mini-theater ranking in its opening weekend.

Kenji Iwaisawa directed the film. Iwaisawa is known for his animated shorts such as "Fukurai-cho, Tunnel Roji no Otoko," and "Big Boss." Ohashi was responsible for the work's character designs and for overall supervision. Rock 'n' Roll Mountain is distributing the film in Japan, with distribution cooperation by Arc Films. The musical unit The Dresscodes (theme song for GANTZ:O film) performed the theme song for the film.

The film won the Grand Prize for Feature Animation award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival last September. The film also competed in the sixth annual New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival in the festival's Featured Animation Competition category in November. The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) screened the film on February 22. The film won the Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 19. The film also competed in the Contrechamp category at Annecy this month.

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film will also screen Mizuki Kiyama's "Bath House of Whales" ("Kujira no Yu") animated short. The short won the Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film in Germany on May 10.

Sources: Press release, Japan Society

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