Zipangu Fest Announces Lineup for Beyond Anime 2012

London – Thursday 9th August 2012

Zipangu Fest's Beyond Anime strand returns for 2012 with four wild, weird and wonderful films

Zipangu Fest's Beyond Anime strand, which was introduced in the festival's first year in 2010, has matured as a collection of unusual, imaginative, and artistically progressive examples of contemporary Japanese animation. As one of the festival's most popular strands, Beyond Anime continues its celebration of work that goes beyond the traditional image of anime to promote the unique visions of filmmakers' intent on pushing the boundaries of animation to their very limits.

This year, Zipangu Fest is pleased to present four works under the Beyond Anime strand that illustrate the diversity of the genre as well as the legacy of some of its most influential pioneers.

Midori-ko (2010) Dir. Keita Kurosaka UK Premiere

Set in a continuously shifting dystopian world, director and animator Keita Kurosaka's Midori-ko is an intriguing fantasy that ventures deep into the darkest recesses of the human imagination to offer a phantasmagoria of mesmerising and disturbing imagery. As the world faces a dire food shortage, a motley crew of scientists endeavour to develop the perfect super food, a synthetic blend of meat and vegetable. By accident, their work yields an edible creature which escapes the laboratory and falls into the hands of a young agricultural student named Midori.

Over 10 years in the making, Kurosaka's hand-drawn masterpiece is all at once dazzling and monstrous, reminiscent of his work on the music video for the song “Agitated Screams of Maggots” by the popular visual kei and Japanese thrash metal band Dir En Grey.

Midori-ko will be screened at Zipangu Fest on Sunday, September 16th 2012.

Encounters (2011) Dir. Takashi Iitsuka UK Premiere

Described by its creator as being of the ‘Super Organic Battle Action’ genre, Encounters is a film unlikely to disappoint its audiences. With the help of a slightly stiff and very plastic cast, writer - director - cast manipulator Takashi Iitsuka serves up an explosive and maniacal tale of adventure in the same vein as Adam and Joe's (Buxton and Cornish, of The Adam and Joe Show fame) toy parodies of blockbusters.

Encounters tells the story of John and his lovesick friend Max as the pair venture out into the countryside with the goal of finding a cure to Max's broken heart. As Max finds respite from his woes in the form of a stray dog, events take a turn for the unusual when a super monster surfaces to wreak havoc on the local community nearby.

Encounters was well received at its premiere earlier this year at the Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. Commissioned to work on a music video in the same style for Japanese indie pop band Asian Kung Fu Generation, Iitsuka himself will be present at this year's Zipangu Fest to deliver a Q&A that is not to be missed.

Encounters will be screened at Zipangu Fest on Sunday, September 16th 2012.

The Great Rabbit (2012) Dir. Atsushi Wada UK Premiere

Director and animator Atsushi Wada's The Great Rabbit tells the story of a group of followers who worship the profound and mysterious entity known only as the great rabbit. Described by Wada as an “allusion to an aspect of modern society in which people unconsciously submit themselves to something mysterious”, The Great Rabbit is a delicate and resonant observation of both contemporary practices and individual consciousness. This short film won the prestigious Silver Bear (Jury Prize) at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. Wada's animations have also been shown previously at Zipangu Fest as a part of the Beyond Anime: CALF Animation programme in 2010.

The Great Rabbit will be screened at Zipangu Fest's opening night on Friday, September 14th 2012.

The Echo of Astro Boy's Footsteps (2011) Dir. Masanori Tominaga

In The Echo Of Astro Boy's Footsteps, director Masanori Tominaga leads an investigation into the extraordinary double life of legendary sound designer Matsuo Ohno. Following his groundbreaking experimental sound work on cult Japanese animations Astro Boy, Lupin The 3rd, and Space Battleship Yamato, Ohno mysteriously disappears from the public eye, retreating into a world of seclusion and personal struggle. Using firsthand accounts from friends and contemporaries to construct a definitive record of Ohno's life, Tominaga's team eventually uncovers the remarkable and deeply moving truth behind Ohno's current whereabouts and habits.

Masanori Tominaga is a director of a number of idiosyncratic and highly original features, documentaries and music videos. His debut short film, Dolmen (1999), received a prize at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2000.

The Echo of Astro Boy's Footsteps will be screened at Zipangu Fest on Sunday, September 16th 2012.

The 3rd Zipangu Fest is set to take place at The Cinema Museum in Kennington, South London from September 14th to 16th 2012.

The full programme of films will be announced at the King Kong vs. Godzilla and Matango, Fungus of Terror Ishiro Honda double bill showing on the August 22nd 2012 at the Prince Charles Cinema in Central London.

For more details, visit the official website at

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