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Koji Yamamura's Ikuta no Kita Anime Film Competes at Annecy This Year

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Naoko Yamada's "Garden of Remembrance" also screens as Work in Progress

This year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival announced on Tuesday that Koji Yamamura's Ikuta no Kita anime film will screen in competition at this year's event in the Feature Films Contrechamp in Competition category.

In addition, Naoko Yamada's "Garden of Remembrance" anime short will screen as part of the Work in Progress track for ongoing productions.

Yamamura's "Hokkyoku-Guma Suggoku Hima" ("Polar Bear Bears Boredom") is also screening at this year's event in the Young Audiences Short Films category.

Yamamura is a professor at Tokyo University of the Arts' Graduate School of Film and New Media, and an independent animator best known for his short films. He received an Academy Award nod in 2003 for his short "Mt. Head," although he did not win. Yamamura's other award-winning and nominated shorts include "Muybridge's Strings," "A Country Doctor," "Satie's Parade," and "Notes on Monstropedia." Yamamura himself received the Kawakita Award in 2012.

Yamada is a veteran director on several Kyoto Animation works, including K-ON!, A Silent Voice, Liz and the Blue Bird, Tamako Market, and Tamako Love Story. Her latest work is The Heike Story, her first work since leaving Kyoto Animation.

Annecy International Animation Film Festival added the Contrechamp category in 2019, replacing the Out-of-Competition section. Films in the Contrechamp category are still in competition, but the section features the "most unique feature films, as well as those that create more challenges vis-à-vis the audience."

The first episode of Shingo Natsume and Madhouse's original science-fiction anime Sonny Boy is also screening in competition in the TV Films category at Annecy this year. Both Atsuko Ishizuka and Madhouse's Goodbye, Don Glees! anime film and Shinya Kawatsura and david production's The House of the Lost on the Cape film are screening in the Official Feature Films category.

Other Japanese works in competition include Yoriko Mizushiri's "Fuan na Tai" ("Anxious Body"), Atsushi Wada's Hantō no Tori ("Bird in the Peninsula"), Honami Yano's "Honekami" ("A Bite of Bone"), and Ryō Hirano's "KRASUE" in the Official Short Films category.

Established in 1960, Annecy is the world's oldest and largest animation film festival. This year's event will run from June 13-18 in the French town of the same name.

Sources: Annecy International Animation Film Festival's website (link 2), Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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