by Chris MaGee
Ever since last October when it was announced that "Ghost in the Shell" and The Sky Crawlers" director Mamoru Oshii would be scripting an animated film for Production I.G. based on the life of 17th-century double sword-wielding samurai, military theorist, and author Miyamoto Musashi anime fans as well as Japanese history and culture buffs have been stewing and waiting to get a look at it. "Musashi: Dream of the Last Samurai", directed by Mizuho Nishikubo, has already screened at the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, but us Canadians have been kept waiting for our first look at it, but this month that situation's going to change when "Musashi" will be making its North American premiere at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema on November 22nd. That's not the only Japanese premiere that's going to be hitting the 9th offering of the fest. Anime News Network is reporting that along with "Musashi" the WFAC will also be premiering Hideaki Anno's "Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance" on November 21st and Studio 4°C's "First Squad: The Moment of Truth" on November 20th.
What with Oscar-winning director Yojiro Takita bringing his film "Departures" to both the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo's Grand River Film Festival last month and now these premieres it only goes to show that smaller festivals can compete with the big fests by bringing these highly-acclaimed Japanese films to Southern Ontario.
The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema will run at The Gig Theatre, 137 Ontario Street North in Kitchener, from November 19th to 22nd.