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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