Katsuhiro Ôtomo Getting Lifetime Achievement Award For Animation

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Katsuhiro Otomo

Katsuhiro Ôtomo

PLATFORM, the internationally acclaimed animation festival in Los Angeles, will present renowned Japanese artist Katsuhiro Ôtomo with a Lifetime Achievement Award at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27.

The evening will begin with an exclusive screening of Ôtomo’s new short film Hi No Yôjin (Combustible), followed by a conversation with animation historian Jerry Beck and then the award ceremony.

“It is an incredibly great honor for PLATFORM to welcome Katsuhiro Ôtomo to the United States after so many years’ absence,” said festival director Irene Kotlarz. “We are delighted to present him with our first Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his unique and original contribution to the art of animation. In recognizing an artist whose origins are deeply rooted in manga, PLATFORM continues its polemical mission to break boundaries into other art forms and embrace a concept of animation that represents the widest possible range of influences.”

The PLATFORM International Animation Festival takes place from October 26 to 28. In collaboration with CalArts and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), PLATFORM will showcase exciting and innovative new animated films and talent while also celebrating animation’s heritage through special screenings and informative panel discussions.

Ôtomo is internationally recognized as one of the leading creative forces in modern Japanese anime and manga. Ôtomo began his career writing and drawing manga in the 1970s, then entered Japan’s animation industry as a character designer in the early 1980s.

His epic story Akira was published as manga from 1982 to 1988 and then adapted into a feature film released in 1988, which Otomo also wrote and directed. Akira has become a classic example of science fiction and a game-changing work of anime, inspiring such modern day Hollywood filmmakers as Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan, and Andy and Lana Wachowski.

In 1987, Ôtomo made several short films that were included in the compilation features  Robotto Kânibaru (Robot Carnival) and Neo-Tokyo (Manie-Manie). He wrote the screenplay adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001), and he has also directed several live-action movies. In 2005, Ôtomo was awarded the honor of Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Otomo continues to write and draw comics and to direct his own animated features, including Memorîzu (Memories) (1995),  Suchîmubôi (Steamboy) (2004) and, most recently, Hi No Yôjin (Combustible) (2012).

The story of Hi No Yôjin takes place in the city of Edo in the 18th century. Owaka, the daughter of a merchant family, and her childhood friend Matsukichi are drawn to each other, but Matsukichi has been disowned by his family, and is working for the city fire brigade. Meanwhile, negotiations begin for the arrangement of Owaka’s marriage. Unable to let go of her thoughts of Matsukichi, Owaka’s mad emotions stir up a massive inferno that razes Edo. By chance encounter, the two meet again amidst the fires.

An epic spectacle, Hi No Yôjin is ignited by the traditional style of Japanese painting as inspiration, and its combination of hand-drawn and 3D CG animation fosters a fresh and original visual expression for the film.

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, PLATFORM is honored to have additional support from its founding sponsor, Cartoon Network, as well as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Television Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood.

REDCAT is located at 631 West 2nd Street in downtown Los Angeles at the corner of Hope Street, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure and in adjacent lots.

Tickets for the Ôtomo evening program are $20 for the general public, $16 for members. Tickets for all other PLATFORM programs are $10 for the general public, $8 for members. Discounts are available for multi-program purchases.

Tickets may be purchased by calling (213) 237.2800, at www.redcat.org, or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and two hours prior to curtain.

PLATFORM is part of the ongoing Jack H. Skirball “Film at REDCAT” series of screenings and presentations by independent film and video makers from around the world. For more information, visit www.redcat.org/category/redcat-event-type/film-video.

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