Ontario’s Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema has announced the first 12 films of the 12th edition of the festival, which runs from November 15 to 18.
The lineup showcases the increasingly powerful voice that feature animation has in world cinema today. A unique film festival celebrating the artistry of animated feature films, the Waterloo Festival showcase is one of the most comprehensive public exhibitions for animated feature films in the world.
“This year’s festival reflects a strong set of productions from Japan and Europe,” says Joseph Chen, the festival’s curator. “There is an incredibly rich, diverse world of animated cinema beyond the borders of what we can see in multiplexes today. Feature animation is an unparalleled window into the filmmaker’s inner vision. It’s an absolute treat to be able to show these beautifully crafted films on the big screen to a North American audience.”
A Letter to Momo
Okiura Hiroyuki (Japan, 2011)
Studio: Production I.G.
Future Film Platinum Grand Prize, Future Film Festival, Italy, 2012
Miyaura Momo is a shy and imaginative 13-year old girl whose life has been shattered by her father’s recent death and her family’s decision to move from Tokyo back to her mother’s ancestral home in a distant fishing village. Haunted by her last moments with her father, and the final words he left her in an unfinished letter that simply said, “Dear Momo…,” she retreats into a gloomy shell from which she refused to emerge, until one day three rather rude goblins with a
penchant for mischief take it upon themselves to pull her out of her shell.
Films: Juju the Weightless Dugong (dir. Kawamata Hiroshi, The Answerstudio), Pretending Not To See (dir. Miyashi-ta Shinpei, Shirogumi), Li’l Spider Girl (dir. Kaiya Toshihisa, Production I.G.), Buta (dir. Tomonaga Kazuhide, Telecom Animation Film)
Four delightful films that point to the future of anime: a collective project from four leading Japanese animation studios selected by the Japan Animation Creators Association under the patronage of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. A workaholic father repeatedly breaks his promise to take his 5-year-old daughter to the sea until an inflatable dugong undertakes the task instead; a sixth grade learns that bullying other kids is as bad as letting it happen; an antiquarian meets with a scared, eight-legged spider girl; and a broke swordsman-for-hire accepts a job to pay the tavern’s bill, only to find himself involved with a pirate ship, a young kid with a map, and a mad scientist.
Ignacio Ferreras (Spain, 2011)
Studio: Perro Verde Films
Goya Award, Best Adapted Screenplay, 2012; Goya Award, Best Animated Film, 2012
Based on Paco Roca’s eponymous and multi award-winning graphic novel, Wrinkles portrays the friendship between Emilio and Miguel, two aged gentlemen shut
away in a care home. Recent arrival Emilio, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, is helped by Miguel and colleagues to avoid ending up on the feared top floor of the care home, also known as the lost causes or “assisted” floor. Their wild plan infuses their otherwise tedious day-to-day with humor and tenderness, because although for some their lives is coming to an end, for them it is just beginning.
Sato Keiichi (Japan, 2012)
Studio: Toei Animation
Born into the chaos of mid-15th century Japan, when flood, drought and famine have devastated the land and the greatest civil war in Japanese history was about to begin, an infant named Asura was abandoned and forced to learn the means to survive in the wild on his own. Growing up as a wild beast, he would come to hunt men — until one day, he meets a young woman whose grace begins to convince him that even a lost soul such as he could seek redemption.
Az Ember Tragédiája (The Tragedy Of Man)
Marcell Jankovics (Hungary, 2012)
Studio: MAFILM Pannónia Filmstúdió
Based on the 1861 masterpiece by Hungarian playwright and poet Imre Madách, The Tragedy of Man is a powerful drama in 15 acts that guide us through the history and the future of mankind — from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden, to the empires of old, to the revolutions that rocked Europe — as Lucifer and God battle for Man’s soul.
Paul Bush (United Kingdom, 2012)
Studio: Paul Bush Productions
Babeldom is a city so massive and growing at such a speed that soon, it is said, light itself will not escape its gravitational pull. How can two lovers communicate, one from inside the city and one outside? This is an elegy to urban life, against the backdrop of a city of the future, a portrait assembled from film shot in modern cities all around the world and collected from the most recent research in science, technology and architecture.
Blood-C: The Last Dark
Shiotani Naoyoshi (Japan, 2012)
Studio: Production I.G.
Following the enforcement of the new Youth Protection Act, minors are forbidden to circulate in the streets after 9 p.m. and the use of the Internet is regulated. However, young people continue to fight for their own freedom through underground methods. A group called Sirrut has declared war on Fumito Nanahara, a man whose great influence at both political and economic level has virtually made him the ruler of Tokyo.
Heart String Marionette
M Dot Strange (U.S.A./Iceland, 2012)
Studio: M Dot Strange Productions
A solo-animated film five years in the making. A samurai marionette fights for love and hate against a warlord and an evil clown who have turned the world into a never-ending cyberpunk nightmare filled with horrible monsters.
Jensen & Jensen
Craig Frank (Denmark, 2011)
Studios: Miso Film, Orbit Studio ApS, Frank Productions
It is the year 2019. The financial crisis rages on, and the world has crumbled. Unemployment, inflation and crime are all soaring. In Copenhagen, bikers have taken over the tasks of the police, everybody is in debt to their eyeballs, and the country is now run by a bank. What are a couple of brothers to do except to try their hand at bounty-hunting?
Jan Rahbek (Denmark, 2012)
Director Jan Rahbek
Studio: Nice Ninja
In his dreams, Marco Macaco is a cool cop solving major crimes — in fact, he is just a dedicated beach officer on a tropical island where nothing seems to happen. His hopes to win beautiful Lulu’s heart get shattered when charming Carlo arrives on the island to build a gigantic monkey-shaped casino right on Marco‘s beach. Jealous and suspicious of his rival, Marco starts an undercover investigation and reveals the incredible truth: Carlo wants to take over the island and install himself as president! When Marco tries to arrest Carlo, a problem rises. Literally, from the ground. Because Carlo’s Casino is a giant robot…
G.B. Hajim (U.S.A., 2012)
Studio: G.B. Hajim
It is 200 years after the Great Earth Exodus. On the moon Ganymede, where most of the population struggles against oppressive debt slavery, Parker leaves the comforts of her previous life and falls in love with Naia, an inspired songwriter, who is genetically engineered and enslaved to be a miner. They form a band, and soon, Naia is enslaved again, this time to stardom, via an exploitative talent agent. Though down and out, Parker sets out on a quest to free Naia and
redeem their love.
Ôkami Kodomo No Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)
Hosoda Mamoru (Japan, 2012)
A young college student named Hana falls in love with a man with an unspeakable secret: he is a wolf man, and one of the last of his kind. Their love gives birth to two children — Yuki (snow), born on a day of snow; and Ame (rain), born on a day of rain; they, too, were born both human and wolf.
All screenings at the 12th Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema runs November 15 to 18, 2012. will be held at The Chrysalids Theatre, 137 Ontario Street North in Kitchener, Ontario. The theatre is conveniently located near rail and bus services, and there is plenty of parking nearby.
Festival passes are available online at www.wfac.ca, and by phone to Brown Paper Tickets at +1 (800) 838-3006.
The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema is an international film festival for animated feature films, founded to promote appreciation for animation as a narrative medium for mature cinematic storytelling, and to review and celebrate animated feature films in the venue they were meant to be seen in: a theatre. The festival is community-based, non-profit, and run by volunteers for the love of the art of animation.