Tag Archives: Film Festival


Ottawa Spotlights Disney

Ottawa-International-Animation-Festival-logoOttawa International Animation Festival is celebrating the world’s most beloved, successful and pioneering animation studio with a series of screenings, talks, exhibitions and legendary Disney animators. Presented with the support of Celebrate Ontario and Walt Disney Animation Studios, OIAF’s tribute to Walt Disney Animation Studios touches upon their impact in feature films  with a 25th anniversary screening of The Little Mermaid – a film that revitalized both the studio and the animation feature when it was released.

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Animated Edmond Was a Donkey A Winner at Francophone Fest

Edmond Was a Donkey (Edmond Etait un Ãne (French)

Edmond Was a Donkey (Edmond Etait un Ãne (French)

Franck Dion’s animation “Edmond Etait Un Ane” (“Edmund Was a Donkey”) won the prize for best international short film Friday at the 26th Festival international de cinéma francophone en Acadie, held in Moncton, New Bruswick.

Jurors Chris LeBlanc, Émilie Moreault and Nisk Imbeault recognized the National Film Board of Canada release “for (Dion’s) capacity to create an effect of total immersion in in a skillfully conceptualized universe, and for the universality of the theme that can touch on all human marginalities.”

Tied for the “Coup de coeur du public” prize was Phil Comeau’s feature-length documentary Frédéric Back: Grandeur Nature. Back is a Canadian artist and director of short animated films.

Friday’s award ceremony was held during the festival’s evening at the Capitol theater.

Studio Ghibli Animation Retrospective Coming to Vancouver

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

Between December 14 and January 3, the Vancity Theatre and The Cinematheque — both located in downtown Vancouver — are co-hosting Castles in the Sky: The Masters of Studio Ghibli.

It’s a major retrospective of films from the world-renowned anime studio Studio Ghibli founded in Tokyo in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki.

Perfect for transcending the winter greys, these films prove that Studio Ghibli is every bit the equal of any animation studio in the world or in film history.

All Studio Ghibli films presented at the Vancity Theatre will be screened in 35mm in the English-language versions. All films at the Cinematheque will screen in Japanese-language prints with subtitles.

These films are open to all ages. Princess Mononoke is classified 14A; all other titles are rated G or PG. The Vancity Theatre offers a special rate of $7 for youth under 19.

Tonari No Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro)
“Best Animated Film of All Time”- Time Out Magazine
“Whenever I watch it, I smile, and smile, and smile” – Roger Ebert
Friday, December 14, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, December 21, 5 p.m.; Sunday, December 23, 3:50 p.m.; Monday, December 24, 2 p.m.; Friday, December 28, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1988, 35mm, 86 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voiced by Dakota and Elle Fanning, Tim Daly
Two little girls and their father move into a beautiful old house in the countryside to be near their mother, who is seriously ill in hospital. Largely left to fend for themselves, Mei and her big sister Satsuki encounter a strange and beautiful world of forest sprites named “Totoros.” Miyazaki’s most beloved film is simply magical and magically simple.

Kaze No Tani No Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind)
“A joy to watch.”- New York Times
Saturday, December 15, 3 p.m.; Sunday, December 16, 4 p.m.
Japan, 1984, 35mm, 117 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazake
Voice cast includes Alison Lohman, Shia LaBeouf, Edward James Olmos, Chris Sarandon
Miyazaki’s first film as writer-director (based on his own successful manga) is an extradinarily rich fantasy film, an eco-allegory set in a feudal, toxic future and a spirited adventure movie. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley of the Wind are engaged in a perpetual conflict with powerful insects called “ohmu,” guardians of a poisonous (and spreading) jungle.

Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
Enchanted and enchanting… fast and funny; weird and wonderful. Mostly wonderful.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Saturday, December 15, 5:20 p.m.; Monday, December 17, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 20, 5:30 p.m.; Monday, December 31, 2 p.m.
Japan, 2001, 35mm, 125 min., English, Classification: PG
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Chiklis, John Ratzenberger
Chihiro and her parents are en route to a new home when they drive through a mysterious tunnel and enter a deserted town. When her folks start gorging on food and transform into a pair of pigs, Chihiro discovers this place is not quite as empty as she had imagined. This is a place of spirits, gods, monsters and witches.
“Picks up a resonance, weight and complexity that makes it all but Shakespearean…. No other word for it: a masterpiece.” – Tony Rayns, Time Out
“SIX STARS (exception must be made for the exceptional). Spirited Away is a feast of wonderment, a movie classic and a joy that will enrich your existence until you too are spirited away. I don’t expect ever to love a film more.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

Gake No Ue No Ponyo (Ponyo On The Cliff)
“You’ll be planning to see Ponyo twice before you’ve finished seeing it once…. It offers up unforgettable images [..] images that use the logic of dreams to make the deepest possible connection to our emotions, and to our souls.”- Kenneth Turan, NPR
Sunday, December 16, 2 p.m.; Wednesday December 19, 6:30 p.m.; Monday, December 24, 3:45 p.m.; Saturday, December 29, 4:15 p.m.
Japan, 2008, 35mm, 101 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon
Miyazaki’s strange and beguiling fantasy film about a sea spirit – it’s an odd eco fable about the terrible power of the sea, but illustrated with such beauty and imagination it transports us entirely into another world. Rated G, this is suitable for children of all ages.
“Miyazaki knows the secret language of children; he dives deep into the pool of childhood dreams and fears and, through his animagic, takes children down to where they can breathe, and feel, and be free.” – Richard Corliss, Time

Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
“Complex, superbly rendered, and wildly eccentric – even by Miyazaki’s own standards.”- J Hoberman, Village Voice
Sunday, December 16, 6:15 p.m.; Tue. December 18, 6:30 p.m.
Japan, 1997, 35mm, 134 min., English, Classification: 14A
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson.
Set during the Muromachi Period (1333-1568) of Japan, Princess Mononoke is the tale of a mystical fight between humans and the Animal Gods of the forest. Aimed at a slightly older audience than most Ghibli fare (it is classified 14A), this epic folk tale shows the influence of Akira Kurosawa (a Miyazaki fan himself) and of John Ford, too. The film was the most successful ever at the Japanese box office (prior to Titanic), and named the film of the year in Japan’s equivalent to the Academy Awards.
“A symphony of action and images, a thrilling epic of warriors and monsters, forest creatures and magical spells, with an underlying allegory about the relationship of man and nature.” – Roger Ebert

Tenkû No Shiro Rapyuta (Castle in the Sky)
“Frequently astounding.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post
Saturday, December 22, 12 noon; Sunday, December 23, 5:45 p.m.
Japan, 1986, 35mm, 124 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
An island in the sky? The story of a young boy who sees a girl floating down from the sky. He comes to her aid in her flight from sky pirates, the army and secret agents. An adventure story influenced by Treasure Island and Gulliver’s Travels, Castle in the Sky is dynamic, imaginative family entertainment with valuable lessons about technology and ignorance.

Kurenai No Buta (Porco Rosso)
“Smooshes fantasy and history into a pastel-pretty yarn as irresistible as his feminism.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
Saturday, December 22, 4:10 p.m.; Sunday, December 23, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1992, 35mm, 94 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers
Pigs will fly! This cockeyed tribute to Humphrey Bogart and Ernest Hemingway features an anti-fascist flier (who happens to look like a pig) tracking sky pirates over the Adriatic in the 1930s. An exhilarating romp with a melancholy undertow – and amazing flying machines!
“Teems with Miyazaki’s personal passions [..] rendered with the utmost detail and beauty. As stirring as Casablanca, and as sophisticated as Only Angels Have Wings, it’s a sublime chivalric fable.” Nick Bradshaw, Time Out

Majo No Takkyûbin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
“Astonishing in its visual splendor and delightfully entertaining, this magical family film about a little witch-in-training, from Japan’s celebrated animator Hayao Miyazaki, is not to be missed.” – Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, December 26, 2 p.m.; Wednesday, January 2, 4:15 p.m.; Thursday, January 3, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1989, 35mm, 103 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Kirsten Dunst, Debbie Reynolds, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo
In keeping with tradition, 13-year-old witch Kiki dusts off her broom and flies away from home for a year of independence and self-discovery in the big city. Her only companion is her beloved black cat, Jiji.

Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)
“A stunning example of a pure, disorienting dream logic that cinema provides all too rarely.”- Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
Thursday, December 27, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 29, 2 p.m.
Japan, 2004, 35mm, 119 min., English
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Voices: Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons
Teenager Sophie is cursed by the Witch of Waste and finds herself trapped in the body of an old woman, and is unable to tell her mother or anyone else what has happened. She finds help of sorts with the wizard Howl, living as a servant in his astonishing walking castle. Sophie is an innocent who must prove her resourcefulness, courage and conviction in a bewildering, alien world.

Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko (The Raccoon War)
“Pompoko is a delightful, often uproariously funny film, at once childishly irreverent and thoughtfully mature. Being a Ghibli work, it is beautifully rendered and technically impeccable, with a great number of memorable set pieces.”- Tom Mes, Midnight Eye
Thursday, December 27, 2:15 p.m.; Sunday, December 30, 3:30 p.m.
Japan, 1994, 35mm, 119 min., English
Directed by Isao Takahata
Voices: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Clancy Brown, JK Simmons
Imagine Watership Down, Studio Ghibli-style. Instead of rabbits, we have raccoons. And not just any raccoons – these critters have magical powers of transformation. As their habitat is stripped and paved by the encroaching humans, the good-natured but rather undisciplined forest creatures embark on a campaign of disruption and distraction.

Neko No Ongaeshi (The Cat Returns)
“An enchanting, magical fable with a twisted vein of surrealism.” – Neil Smith, BBC
Friday, December 28, 3:45 p.m.; Sunday, December 30, 5:45 p.m.; Monday, December 31, 4:20 p.m.
Japan, 2002, 35mm, 75 min., English
Directed by Hiroyuki Morita
Voices: Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Judy Greer, Elliot Gould, Tim Curry
Schoolgirl Haru bravely saves a cat’s life – and finds herself summoned to the Kingdom of the Cats for her pains, where she is to become the wife of the Cat Prince! When she refuses, she starts sprouting whiskers and furry ears…. What’s a girl to do?

Mimi O Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)
“A beautiful film.” – David Jenkins, Time Out
Wednesday, Janurary 2, 2 p.m.; Thursday, January 3, 4 p.m.
Japan, 1995, 35mm, 111 min., English
Directed by Yoshifumi Kondo
Voices: Brittany Snow, Cary Elwes, David Gallagher, Courtney Thorne Smith
A lovely change of pace from Studio Ghibli, this is a teenage first-love story, set in a realistically observed modern day Tokyo. Bookish schoolgirl Shizuku meets her soul mate with a little help from a portly cat.

Call the Film Info Line at (604) 683-FILM (3456) for the latest info and listings.

Boy With Autism Wins Animation Award For 2nd Time

Young PK Keith of Valley Village, California, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age two, and whose budding interest in animation and film was evident at an early age, received a Best Elementary School Animation award Sunday from International Student Film Festival Hollywood in recognition of his animated short Animal Birthday Party.

Ten-year-old PK, who attends tutoring at Exceptional Minds vocational school for youth with autism, won in the same category in last year’s ISFFH festival, an annual event open to all elementary, junior high and high school students that recognizes young filmmakers from around the world. The short was selected along with more than 65 others for screening at the ISFFH film festival, which took place Saturday and Sunday at Beverly Garland’s Theater in North Hollywood, California.

“Some people don’t know until after graduating from college what they want to do. PK has always wanted to be an animator. Even before he could talk, he’d go through reams and reams of paper, drawing and laying out his storyboards on the floor. This is his thing,” says mom Mollie Burns Keith, who enrolled PK in private tutoring sessions at Exceptional Minds over the summer to develop her son’s skills and prepare him for eventual employment as an animator.

PK originated the Flash animation with tutoring and instruction from Laura Robinson and other instructors at Exceptional Minds, a Sherman Oaks, California vocational school for young adults on the autism spectrum who aspire to become animators and computer artists. Started last year by professionals in the post-production and film industry, and instructed by working animators with the help of experts experienced in autism developmental issues, Exceptional Minds is being lauded as the poster child for what’s next for young adults with ASD, many of whom are underemployed or unemployed, yet who demonstrate an aptitude for computer animation and technology in general.

“PK is one more example of what these young and talented individuals can do given the right tools, the right instruction and the space to do it,” says Yudi Bennett, the director of operations for Exceptional Minds, and the parent of a young adult on the autism spectrum.

The International Student Film Festival Hollywood is in its 10th year as a venue “where the next generation of filmmakers showcase their work,” placing PK among an elite and esteemed group of young aspiring talent.

At the festival, the Grand Jury Award went to Shaun Seong-young Kim of USC for the animated Hu’s Game. The award for Best Animation was given to fellow USC student Wen Huang for The Seventh Star.

Named Best High School Animation was Snub-nosed Elf, directed by Chi Keung Wong of Hong Kong’s Yung Yau College. It was written by Ngo Yin Ip and Man Ho Wan. Chak Fung Ip, also of Yung Yau College, won Best Junior High School Animation for Make a Difference, written by Ka Yung Cheung and Wing Hang Chan.

Live Outside the Box Wins at Oregon Film Awards

Live Outside The Box

Live Outside The Box

Directed by Shu-Hsuan Lin of Taiwan, “Live Outside the Box” was named the Grand Winner for Best Animation on Wednesday at the Oregon Film Awards.

The leading character, Simon, is a workaholic without any social contact. Gradually, his world becomes smaller and smaller, and even at the very end, there is nothing left in his world but only his work. This severe impact finally wakes him up, and now Simon has to find the right way to bring his life back before everything is too late.

The Platinum Award in the Animation Film Competition was given to Firefly and the Coffee Machine, directed by John Michael Wilyat, while Backspace, directed by Jillian Starr and Brian Starr, won the Gold Award.

The Silver Award in the Animation Film Competition went to Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King, directed by Kubooka Toshiyuki. Klayton Stainer’s Atom won the Bronze Award.

The complete list of 2012 Oregon Film Award winners can be viewed on the event’s official Web site, www.oregonfilmawards.com.

Ten Animated Shorts Move Ahead in 2012 Oscar Race

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 85th Academy Awards.

Fifty-six pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)
Hi No Yôjin (Combustible), Katsuhiro Otomo, director (Sunrise Inc.)
Dripped, Léo Verrier, director (ChezEddy)
The Eagleman Stag, Mikey Please, director, and Benedict Please, music scores and sound design (Royal College of Art)
The Fall Of The House Of Usher, Raul Garcia, director, and Stephan Roelants, producer (Melusine Productions/R&R Communications Inc./Les Armateurs/The Big Farm)
Fresh Guacamole, PES, director (PES)
Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare, David Silverman, director (Gracie Films)
Paperman, John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)
Tram, Michaela Pavlátová, director, and Ron Dyens, producer (Sacrebleu Productions)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in December.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10 at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on ABC. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Herzfeldt’s “Beautiful Day” Wins at Yosemite Animation Fest

It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” directed by Don Herzfeldt, was named Best Animation at the fourth international Yosemite International Film Festival, held in California.

It’s Such a Beautiful Day had won the First Prize Golden Zagreb Award at this year’s Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films. It also was named Best Animation Film (Animated Short Film) a the Fant-Asia Film Festival and received the Best Animation Yoram Gross Award at the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival.

Among the John Muir Award Winners at the Yosemite Film Festival, Surviving Hunger won the Animation Competition.

Jimmy Paul The Pug Tooth Fairy won the Animation Competition at the festival’s Silver Sierra Awards, while Wet and Wetter was declared the winner of the El Capital Award in the Animation Competition.

The Yosemite International Film Festival awards recognition for some of the world’s finest and most visionary independent films made by many of the leading contemporary artists and creative minds working in cinema and screenwriting today.

The judges selected one exclusive winner from each Award Tier and Best of Category, along with the overall Grand Jury Prize Winner, The Ratio, directed by Jordan Imhoff, selected as the very best project from among all the competition categories, the highest and most acclaimed honor bestowed in the contest.

In addition, Grand Prize Winners and Official Finalists were selected for the annual Screenplay Competition at the discretion of expert judges. Screenplay Competition winners include first place winner Red Flags, written by Sandra Bowes; second place winner She Will Be Mine, written by Burleigh Smith; third place winner Transhumans, written by Alex Sobol; fourth place winner The Badminton Warrior, written by Tom Radovich; and fifth place winner “Roadside Crosses Revised, written by Solace Pineo.

“It was so gratifying to have received such an exceptional wide variety of submissions,” said Easton Stuart, executive director of the Yosemite International Film Festival. “Our mission is to recognize and award progressive, eye-opening, independent cinema and writing. After careful consideration, we are pleased to present the absolute best of the 2012 competition.”

A complete list of the winners can be viewed on the contest’s Web site, www.yosemitefilmfestival.com.

Vancouver Hosts Major Studio Ghibli Animation Retrospective

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

The Cinematheque and the Vancity Theatre, both located in downtown Vancouver, are co-hosting a major retrospective of the films of Studio Ghibli, the world-renowned anime studio founded in Tokyo in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki.

The Cinematheque presentation includes two rare titles —  Omohide Poro Poro (Only Yesterday) and Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves) never released in North America before. All Ghibli films (with the exception of The Ocean Waves) will be presented in new 35mm prints.

Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli runs from December 7 to 9, 12 to 17, 22 to 23 and 26 to 30, as well as January 2 to 3.

Frequently referred to as the Disney of Japan, Studio Ghibli (pronounced “jib-lee” or “gee-buh-lee”) is known for startlingly original animated feature films that combine dazzling visual virtuosity, vivid characterizations and epic storytelling. These include some of the most magical, most beloved animated movies ever made, including Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Ghibli’s warm, intelligent, poetic films, often full of great flights of fancy that borrow from fairytale, folklore and science fiction, are always grounded in a deeply-felt humanism that embraces family and community and believes in essential human goodness (despite considerable evidence of human folly), and in a deep concern for the environment and our relationship with nature. They typically feature strong female protagonists. Ghibli films, it is also worth noting, are still primarily (and lovingly) crafted the traditional way, through the labor-intensive, hand-drawn, frame-by-frame technique of cel animation.

Here’s what’s scheduled:

Kaze No Tani No Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind)
Miyazaki’s debut is considered by many to be his masterwork. There are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur.

Tenkû No Shiro Rapyuta (Castle in the Sky)
Miyazaki’s first Studio Ghibli feature is this beautiful, exhilarating eco-fantasy adventure of a young boy and girl searching for a long-lost floating island in the sky.

Majo No Takkyûbin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
Kiki is a young witch-in-training; her best friend is Jiji, a chatty, wisecracking black cat in this beautiful, timeless and beloved story of a young girl finding her way in the world.

Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves)
RARE GHIBLI! Rarely seen outside of Japan — never released in North America in any format — this subtle, poignant story of adolescence and teenage isolation is a true discovery.

Tonari No Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro)
Miyazaki’s most endearing, most beloved and most iconic film tells the touching tale of two sisters who discover a forest full of spirits and magical creatures next to their new home.

Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
Miyazaki’s epic story of conflict between humans, gods and nature is a landmark of animation and a film of unsurpassed power and beauty with an environmental message.

Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)
When a shy teenager is cursed by the jealous Witch of the Waste, she seeks refuge with a handsome wizard named Howl in his magical moving castle while they fight to lift the spell.

Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
This Academy Award-winning film was Japan’s biggest box-office hit of all time, and cemented Miyazaki’s reputation as an icon of inspired animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling.

Mimi O Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)
A visually stunning wonder about the awakening of creative talent, this is the sole feature directed by Miyazaki’s protégé Yoshifumi Kondô before his sudden death at the age of 47.

Neko No Ongaeshi (The Cat Returns)
Walking home after a dreary day at school, Haru saves a cat from being hit by a speeding truck. Little does she know that she is about to be plunged into into a fantastical feline world…

Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko (The Raccoon War)
The forest home of the deceptively cuddly tanuki — a group of magical raccoon-like creatures — is threatened by the construction of a new suburb. Now, they must fight to save it.

Kurenai No Buta (Porco Rosso)
This tribute to early aviation is set between the World Wars in Fascist Italy, where flying ace Marco — cursed with the head of a pig — and beautiful Fio are catapulted into high-flying conflict.

Omohide Poro Poro (Only Yesterday)
RARE GHIBLI! Never released in North America, this tale of self-discovery may delve deeper into the real emotional experiences of women than any animated film before or since.

Hôhokekyo Tonari No Yamadâkun (My Neighbors the Yamadas)
This delightfully offbeat, rarely-seen gem was the first Ghibli film to be created entirely on computers in order to achieve its soft watercolor look.

All Ghibli films presented at The Cinematheque will screen in the original Japanese-language versions with English subtitles.

All Ghibli films presented at the Vancity Theatre will screen in the English-dubbed versions.

All ages are welcome! The Cinematheque welcomes all ages to this family-friendly presentation of the films of Studio Ghibli. All films in the series are rated G or PG (with the exception of Princess Mononoke and The Ocean Waves, which are 14A — under 14 requires adult accompaniment).

Remember that all The Cinematheque’s Ghibli screenings are in Japanese with English subtitles! Membership is required for those 18 or over.

Pacific Cinémathèque is grateful to Dave Jesteadt and GKIDS (New York) and Tom Charity of Vancity Theatre (Vancouver) for their great assistance in making this presentation possible. Program notes are by (or adapted from) GKIDS, except where otherwise noted.

For links to the individual films and their showtimes, visit www.thecinematheque.ca/castles-in-the-sky-miyazaki-takahata-and-the-masters-of-studio-ghibli.

Scene from Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves), never released in North America theatrically or on any home viewing format.

Wolf Children, Fuga Win Awards at Sitges Animation Fest



Mamoru Hosoda’s Ôkami Kodomo No Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children) was named best animated feature film at the 45th Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, while Fuga, by Juan Antonio Espigares of Spain, was honored as best animated short.

This was the Japanese director’s third award in the Anima’t Section at Sitges. Hosoda’s previous wins were in 2006 for  Toki O Kakeru Shôjo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and 2009 for Samâ Wôzu (Summer Wars).

Ôkami Kodomo No Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children) tells how when she was barely more than a teenager, Hana fell in love with a werewolf. It might seem strange, but for 13 years, they were extremely happy, and they had two children: Yuki and Ame, who were also born with the ability to transform into wolves. Following her husband’s sudden death, Hana decides to move to the country to be able to raise her children in a peaceful environment, where their extraordinary faculties won’t be discovered. However, as they grow up, Yuki and Ame must decide if they want to live as humans or as wolves.

Born in 1967, Hosada began to work for Toei Animation in 1991. Creator of the famous TV series Digimon, he collaborated with Takashi Murakami in 2003 on a piece for Louis Vuitton.

Without dialogue, Espigares’ 15-minute short Fuga plays with the polysemy of the word “fuga” (escape) to weave a complex and plastically innovative fantasy. It is an inflection point for “digital cinema” produced in Spain.

The festival’s Anima’t Section jury was made up of Eduard Terrades, Frédéric Ambroisine and Ricardo Reparaz.

PLATFORM Animation Festival Opens Friday in L.A.

PLATFORM, the internationally acclaimed animation festival, is hosting a three-day event in Los Angeles from Friday to Sunday, 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.

Drawing upon some of the freshest perspectives on the world of animation, festival director Irene Kotlarz has discovered a new generation of curators for this year’s festival. Says Kotlarz, “It has been a special pleasure this year to work with a talented group of CalArts animation students who have helped select the program. Their creative thinking perfectly complements the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists, to break boundaries, and to reflect developments in new media. Together we are really excited to bring PLATFORM to Los Angeles with an outstanding range of premieres, exclusive screenings, and special guests.”

CalArts dean of the School of Film/Video Steve Anker is thrilled to have his students partner in crafting the event for Los Angeles. “The PLATFORM Animation Festival makes a great case for the continued vitality of animation as an independent, personal art form. In just one weekend, an astonishing array of programs has been organized that will give L.A. viewers a chance to see dozens of films, ranging from the beginning of cinema to the latest Internet sensations, that together present a wonderful kaleidoscope of animation as a visual art,” says Anker.

Introducing films that have won worldwide acclaim to animation fans in Los Angeles, PLATFORM will screen highlights from the Annecy International Animation Festival. One program will focus on student films, and a second will present films from established artists, offering viewers a wide variety of story-telling and stylistic entertainment.

Embracing the latest platforms for animation, the festival will feature both screenings and panels that focus on how the internet has changed the industry. Showcasing another realm of groundbreaking animation, PLATFORM is honored to present a special preview screening of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Paperman, followed by a panel discussion with the key filmmakers of this short film.

To honor the history of animation and those who have broken boundaries through the years, PLATFORM will share special retrospective screenings of some of the student films from CalArts’ most famous alumni, such as John Lasseter and Craig McCracken. Reaching even further back into animation history, PLATFORM will present an archival screening of the short films by Ladislas Starewitch, the surrealistic stop-motion pioneer. His work in the 1910s to 1950s initiated the genre of fantastical, gothic stop-motion animation whose line of influence can be traced directly to contemporary filmmakers like Tim Burton and Henry Selick.

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.

The schedule for the festival is as follows:

Friday, October 26

7:30 p.m.: Ladislas Starewitch. A rare screening of 35mm archival prints of short films by the influential surrealistic stop-motion pioneer played to live music. Polish-born Starewitch lived most of his life in Paris, creating fantastical, sophisticated and entertaining narrative films featuring strange insect and animal characters. The compilation screening will include such titles as L’Epouvantail (The Scarecrow), Amour Noir et Blanc (Love in Black and White), La Reine des Papillons (Queen of the Butterflies) and Les Yeux du Dragon (Eyes of the Dragon).

10 p.m.: Best of World Student Animation. Screening of selections from Annecy 2012 representing a broad spectrum of schools from all over the world. The program will include such award-winning student films as I’m Fine Thanks, directed by Eamonn O’Neill, and The Making of Longbird, directed by Will Anderson.

Saturday, October 27

12 noon: Streaming: A Conversation About Animators on the Web. Panel discussion to help answer the questions that today’s animators today face, considering the bewildering array of options and platforms for getting their work out to an audience: Should they put it out on the Web, and if so, which site? Should they give it away for free, or can they make money? Should they invite comments? Should they hold off and try to get into festivals? Will they miss the boat? Panelists include Jason Sondhi (Vimeo), among others. Moderated by Aaron Simpson (Mondo Media).

2 p.m.: Preview of Disney’s Paperman. Special screening followed by a panel discussion with director John Kahrs, art director Jeff Turley and animation supervisor Patrick Osborne. Applying a technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction in this short film.

4:30 p.m.: Best of World Animation. Screening of selections from Annecy 2012. Films include Michaela Pavlátová’s Grand Prix winner Tram (2012) and experimental artist Stephen Irwin’s Ottawa Grand Prix-winner Moxie (2011). Other award-winning films include Hisko Helsing’s Junkyard (2012), which just won the Nelvana Grand Prize for Best Independent Short Animation at the 2012 Ottawa International Animation Festival, and Oh, Willy (2011) by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, which has won Best European Animation Short Film at Cartoon D’or and Grand Prix for Shorts at the Holland Animation Film Festival this year.

7: p.m.: PES: A Retrospective. Special presentation. The director and animator of numerous witty short stop-motion films and commercials, PES has a huge following at festivals and on the Internet. PES will screen and discuss a selection of his work. including his renowned The Deep (2011).

Sunday, October 28

12 noon: “Awesome” Cartoon Network. Screening and panel. A selection of shows and creative interstitials that exemplify an influential trend in TV and Internet animation, appearing first in the network’s Powerpuff Girls. Reaching its height with the pioneering Adventure Time, the culture of “awesome” emphasizes a clean and bubbly esthetic, positivity, and distinctive, random humor. The screening will be followed by a panel of Cartoon Network artists, including Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time) and JG Quintel (Regular Show). Introduced by Rob Sorcher, chief content officer at Cartoon Network, and moderated by Animation Magazine editor-in-chief Ramin Zahed.

2:30 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evolution, Program 1. Screening. A retrospective of CalArts animation, first presented at Annecy 2012. Two screenings of examples from four decades of CalArts’ programs in character and experimental animation, featuring student films by John Lasseter, Henry Selick, Craig McCracken and Steve Hillenburg, as well as more recent graduates, including Miwa Matreyek and Kirsten Lepore.

5 p.m.: Life After College. A distinguished panel that spans several generations of CalArts graduates who have been successful in various fields of the industry as creators of successful TV series, as standout animators on the Web, or as practicing independent artists. As they discuss their paths from graduation to artistic and professional success, the panelists will offer a range of options as role models for aspiring young artists. Panelists include Alex Hirsch, creator of Gravity Falls; Craig McCracken, creator of Powerpuff Girls and Wonder Over Yonder; Mike Moon, vice-president of creative at Disney TV Animation; Michael Patterson, experimental film artist, teacher and commercial filmmaker; and Miwa Matreyek, animator, designer and multi-media artist. Moderator: Jerry Beck. With thanks for generous support from Disney Television Animation.

8 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evolution, Program 2. Screening. A retrospective of CalArts animation, first presented at Annecy 2012.

The 2012 Platform International Festival takes place at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). REDCAT is located at 631 West Second 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 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 West Second and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. through Saturday 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.