Thursday, February 26, 2009

Female animators highlighted in Vienna with "Japanese Animators Today"

by Chris MaGee

Here's our second story about Japanese animation and visual culture today, and it comes from an expert on the subject. Cathy Munroe Hotes, who not only is a contributing writer to Midnight Eye, but who also has her own blog about experimental and underground Japanese animation called Niskikata Film Review, has word on an all female programme of Japanese animators that will be screening next week as part of the Tricky Women 2009 festival in Vienna.

Tricky Women is a film festival dedicated exclusively to animation created by women and has been going for 8 years in the Austrian capital. This year the organizers of the fest asked Sayoko Kinoshita, the director of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, to put together a program of animated films by Japanese women animators, and the end result "Japanese Animation Today" will be shown on Saturday, March 7th and again on Sunday, March 8th.

With the only common links between the dozen films that Kinoshita has brought together being that they must be animated and by women "Japanese Animation Today" ends up being a wonderfully eclectic mix. Not only does it include a 3 minute short titled "BUONOMO: The Second Night" by Mai Tominaga, who directed the surreal 2006 feature "Wool 100%" starring Kyôko Kishida and Kazuko Yoshiyuki, but also the flip-book animation of Maya Yonesho, and the trippy 2007 short by Ikue Sugidono and Miyako Nishido who go under the name Pecoraped called "Straying Little Red Riding Hood" that I actually caught at last year's Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival. Kinoshita even includes one of her own film that she created with her late husband, Renzo Kinoshita, titled "Ryukyu Okoku: Made in Okinawa".

For a full list of the films included in "Japanese Animation Today" and more info on Tricky Women 2009 click here, and once again thanks to Cathy Munroe Hotes for pointing the way to what sounds like a fascinating event.

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