Japanese screenings

21st Japan Media Arts Festival  Award-winning Program 
Saturday 12:20-13:20 Second Stage

The Japan Media Art Festival is an annual contest. This year they had to choose the award-winning entries from 4,192 participants from all over the world. You will be able to see those best of the best short films on the stage of Aniventure Comic Con.

Here is what to expect:


Datum Point
Ryo ORIKASA, 2015, 06’41 min
Title of Award: Excellence Award
"Suijun genten (Datum Point)" is a poem written by ISHIHARA Yoshiro (1915–77), one of Japan’s most prominent postwar poets, who experienced being detained in Siberia, Russia.
This piece is a stop-motion animation video that Ryo Orisaka created by spending about a year carving the poem into clay. Waves made of white clay rise up one after another and gradually develop into huge undulations. Eventually, the “poem” appears in the waves, one character at a time. As soon as a character of the poem comes into sight while creating ripples, it is immediately swallowed up again by the waves, and this forces the viewers to cherish each character as they watch. The expression of clay animation brings out the dramatism contained within the simple repetition of the ripples.

Language Producing Factory
DAI Furen, 2016, 09’12 min
Title of Award: Excellence Award
Furen Dai's video work begin with her research on a Secret Women Language called NvShu, which was originated and developed as a secret code among women in Hunan Province, China. Through research she discovered that though the language has lost its functionality, women who know the language have been pressured into performing their cultural activities as entertainment for tourists for menial wages.

Panderer (Seventeen Seconds)

Gary SETZER, 2016, 0’17 min
Title of Award New Face Award
In the alarmingly short artwork, Panderer (Seventeen Seconds), the artist directly addresses his audience while a counter displays the passing seconds. Using a self-reflexive format, Setzer humorously calls attention to the average amount of time viewers spend with an artwork in museums—seventeen seconds. This artwork conforms to the unrealistic needs of the “average viewer”—a logical but absurd move that effectively lampoons our impractical expectations of the art experience.

INDUSTRIAL JP [ID - 1 Komatsu Spring Industry × DJ TASAKA]

INDUSTRIAL JP, 2016, 04’16 min
Title of Award: Excellence Award
INDUSTRIAL JP is the project to make small factory in Japan "the Label".
Featuring the small factory in Japan that forms the foundation of Japanese cutting-edge technology, acclaimed trackmakers remix the sounds and visuals generated from dense manufacturing process of the small factory. In the course of such remix, trackmakers transform those sounds and visuals into "Art".
Enjoy this unprecedented experience come from hybrid of Japanese cutting-edge technology and music.

The Blind Fish

ISHIKAWA Yasuaki / MIKADUKI Hutatsu / KONDO Keishi Keishi, 2017, 04’25 min
Title of Award: New Face Award
A wooden marionette carved into a sh that was created by the wooden doll puppeteer, MIKADUKI moves about in this video as if swimming amid greenery, with a song composed by musician, ISHIKAWA Yasuaki and vocals by HIRAI Ayako from Itomato Ayako in the background. The video by KONDOU Keishi uses an unfocused backdrop, lighting from above, and pale coloring to present a landscape not unlike a neighborhood park that appears as if under water. The segmented parts of the fish, such as the pectoral fins and tail fins, are skillfully moved to articulate a sensation of floating. In addition, the camera captures the presence of features such as the texture of the wooden scales unique to real wood that entices the viewer to instinctively reach out and touch it. Everything from musical composition, video, sculpture and the puppeteering are integrated into a single work, and the summation is an artwork that lends a poetic feeling to the visible.

In This Corner of the World –trailer
Sunao KATABUCHI, 2016, 01’48 min
Title of Award: Grand Award
The main character, Suzu, marries into a family in Kure City, Hiroshima, at age 18 in 1944, and uses her creativity to maintain her household despite the wartime shortages. However, as the war intensifies, Kure, a naval port city, suffers repeated air attacks.
This film depicts Suzu, who strives to continue her daily tasks with a positive attitude even as the familiar things she thought were important are stolen from her one by one, as well as the people around her.
Exhaustive research based on documents, maps, field studies and interviews with those who lived there at the time have resulted in the recreation of a Hiroshima which can no longer be seen.

Lu over the wall – trailer

Masaaki YUASA, 2017, 01’35 min
Title of Award: Grand Award
Kai is a boy who lives in a lonely fishing village.
One day, he meets and befriends Lu, a mermaid who likes singing and dancing.
But, the town's people have always thought that mermaids bring disaster. Something happens that puts a huge rift between Lu and the villagers, endangering the town.

Harmonia feat. Makoto
Tаrafu OTANI, 2017, 03’52 min
Title of Award: Excellence Award
I don't want to get out of bed, but morning is coming.
Short break in the fantasy world.
Music Video for Yuichi NAGAOs Electronica music "Harmonia".

Negative Space
KUWAHATA Ru / Max PORTER, 2017, 05’30 min
Title of Award: Excellence Award
"Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, “Negative Space"" is a short animated film that depicts a father-and-son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase."

The First Thunder
Anastasia MELIKHOVA, 2017, 05’00 min
Title of Award: New Face Award
It is a musical fantasy about the awakening of nature and the character from winter hibernation, about the way out of its own "world" into a world which is full of beauty and adventures.


Nicolas FONG, 2017, 10’30 min
Title of Award: New Face Award
Surrounded by several couples, a god becomes bored, because he is on his own and jealous of the others’ happiness. He breathes out, creating a single mountain. He installs Yin and Yang, the man and the woman. The two of them try in vain to meet. The jealous god is pleased with his cruel entertainment.

Tomoyasu Murata Program - 105 minutes
Sunday 12:00 – 13:45 Second Stage

Tomoyasu Murata began his work producing puppet animations after being inspired by traditional Japanese puppet theatre, called Bunraku. Murata employs puppet animation in an expressive way, allowing viewers to experience it with their eyes, ears, sense of touch and even through the air. He has consistently strived to express the idea of mujo, or impermanence, which is a very beautiful concept to the Japanese.
In one of his early series entitled “Road”, Murata described the aspect of “absence”. Through small gestures of the puppets' hands and eyes, he expressed things that are not words, and are indeed impossible to put into words.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Murata started to create new series based on the theme of traversing memories regarding life and death. He has so far completed three of his five planned puppet animations: “Okinamai / Forest This Flower Bloom”, “AMETSUCHI”, and “A Branch of a Pine Is Tied up”. In these series, Murata tries to portray the view of mujo through the themes of prayer, chronicling and faith.

Оn our festival, you will see a program of his short stop motion animations, specially selected for us by VIPO (Visual Industry Promotion Organization)

Here is their list:

Japan 2000, 16 min
"“Distant Memory” is nostalgic, bittersweet, and pleasant. A fragment of memory revives by chance in an unchanging daily life. This fragment and others eventually assemble into a distant memory.
This work is like a message from a precious person.”

Scarlet Road
Japan 2002, 13`11 min
A train is running through a long, dark tunnel. A sad man meets a girl who gives him a vermillion flower. He starts a short journey—not of words, not of anything to be put into words, just trivia. At the end of that journey, the man emerges from the long, dark tunnel.

Family Deck vol. 1-5
Japan 2007, 24’01 min
The Takadas run a barber shop in east Tokyo. This family of four includes the parents, a boy in elementary school, and a girl in junior high. As the Seven Lucky Gods (or kami, meaning both "hair" and "gods") living in the shop play tricks on them, strange things happen in their daily lives. Meanwhile, time flows slowly and their individual lives are depicted with attention.

White Road
Japan 2003, 14’35 min
It's a story of the memory in the autumn when a boy and a girl spent toghether. The memory has had pain which never be heeled even after theire growing. A man walk again the road of the memory in his boyhood. It's as if he goes running in the snow.

Okinamai / Forest This Flower Bloom
Japan 2014-15, 11’05 min
"1st episode in a series themed after The Great East Japan Earthquake - “Travel through Memories about Life & Death.” An amnesiac wolf traces his past and escapes from hunters who are after him. Okina appears as a narrator who speaks of the desire to resist change and the reality of continual change. He continues to dance quietly on the edge of amnesia.

Japan 2016, 10’31 min
The island has repeated eruption and earthquick, rising smoke on the ground, firing magma under the ground. After that, the island covered with white sand and water springing become a river. The water made the forest and it made life.

A Branch of a Pine Is Tied up
Japan 2017, 16’32 min
3rd episode in a series themed after The Great East Japan Earthquake - “Travel through Memories about Life & Death.” Twins are separated by a tsunami. A snow globe connects the present and past. While traversing between these two periods, one of the twins retrieves her memories. The moon and sun overlap, enabling the Rabbit-man to connect the past with reality. He leads the girl who has remembered to the land of the dead.