WFAC announces 2004 lineup

Lineup features epic anime films, wide range of styles, and intriguing indie productions

WATERLOO, CANADA - The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema (WFAC) announced its 2004 programme today. The programme is headlined by strong animated feature films from around the world including several premieres, a tribute to Canada's role in animation history, and a unique shorts programme that highlights independent anime production.

The 2004 Festival will be opening with the North American premiere of eagerly anticipated anime sci-fi thriller Appleseed, created by Ghost in the Shell author Shirow Masamune. Set in the year 2131 A.D., a non-nuclear war has left the Earth barren, and much of the population is robotic. One last bastion of civilisation remains, and a female warrior will have to battle a conspiracy in order to save what is left of humanity. Also headlining the festival selection is another anime sci-fi thriller of a completely different style: Steamboy, the triumphant return of Otomo Katsuhiro (creator of Akira) to the director's chair. The most expensive animated feature film ever made in Japan, Steamboy is a visual spectacle. Set in a steampunk version of our 19th century, a young man inherits an invention that could change the course of history.

From elsewhere in the world are films of a very different sort: children's films La Prophétie des Grenouilles from France, and Russia's Karlik Nos offer delightful fables and fairytales, while Hong Kong's McDull, Prince de la Bun (Canadian premiere) looks with adult nostalgia at life as it truly is, and truly was, in Hong Kong. The award-winning Korean film Oseam is an emotional look at the life of two orphans, and the price of innocence. From Zimbabwe comes the stylish The Legend of the Sky Kingdom, an allegorical fable told entirely in stop-motion animation and recycled junk. The Welsh, U.K. film Y Mabinogi narrates the ancient Celtic mythology of the Mabinogion, intertwined with the lives of three modern-day friends. Kaena: the Prophecy (France) is an adventure-drama about a young girl who dares break taboo to find the truth behind why the tree that is her world is dying. Finally, from celebrated and award-winning independent animator Bill Plympton comes Hair High, a caricature and a wonderful gothic comedy in the tradition of Stephen King's Carrie.

Also featured at the 2004 Festival is a special presentation of the 1983 film Rock & Rule, a cult classic amongst animation fans, in a very rare public screening; Japan's [email protected], a dark look at a robot who is given the gift of humanity - a gift she might not want; and Monster Road, a documentary about visionary clay and line animator Bruce Bickford and an attempt to understand the sometimes baffling animation he produced.

Finally, the Festival offers a Tidbits programme of films made by independent animators - often a single animator - who are challenging the commonly accepted limits of what a single artist can create. From Japan comes a collection of independent anime, including the world premiere of Kakurenbo, a visually stunning film steeped with Japanese mythos. Creators Morita Shuhei and Sajiki Daisuke will be on hand to present the film to the audience. Also featured is the U.S. film Kaze the Shadow Warrior, which employs cutting-edge techniques for facial _expression animation.

The Festival programme contains something for everyone - whether those looking for the warmth of a child's fairytale, the thrill-seeker looking for epic action, the truly hardy looking for an excuse to share laughs and fun with other fans of edgy animation in our Midnight Madness programme, or the curious looking for what is possible in animation.

The 2004 Festival runs from October 27th through the 30th, 2004 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Tickets and admissions are available online at the Festival web site, and may also be purchased at the door.

For more information, please visit our web site at

About the Festival

The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema (WFAC) is a film festival dedicated to promote recognition for animation as a legitimate medium for cinema, and to celebrate the power of animation in feature films. Now in its fourth year, the Festival features a wide selection of animated feature films from around the world, and smaller projects that demonstrate the fierce independent spirit of the independent animator.

bookmark/share with:

Press Release homepage / archives