Kotatsu Festival 2024

We are pleased to announce the dates for the Kotatsu Festival 2024. Other venues will be confirmed soon, so be sure to check back here for further details.

Chapter Cardiff
5 – 6 October 2024

Aberystwyth Arts Centre
25 – 27 October 2024

Latest Posts

Kotatsu Festival Merchandise

At last, you can now get your hands on Kotatsu Festival merchandise at our new shopfront launched on RedBubble. We’ve uploaded some designs featuring our lovely kotatsu characters, courtesy of Chie Arai, and they are available across a variety of products. Just go to kotatsufestival.redbubble.com to check out what’s on offer. More designs will be made available in due course.

All sales will help fund future events at the festival and will allow us to bring you more online workshops.

Kotatsu Festival Awards

Each year we honour the Best Film for each venue as voted for by our panel of judges, and our wonderful audiences. Please visit our Awards Page to see which films won each year.

Personal Messages

Takeshi Yashiro – Award-winning Director and Stop-motion Animator

Takeshi Yashiro

It is a great honour for me to be invited to the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival. Gon – The Little Fox is a heart-breaking story, but it will also leave you feeling serene. It’s set in a time and place where humans and beasts used to live close to one another. The stop-motion animation brings the rustic landscape of the Japanese countryside back to life. So sit back and enjoy.

Prof. Yuichi Ito – Prof. of Animation, Tokyo University

Prof Yuichi Ito

Hello! KOTATSU Film Festival! It is a great honour for me to be invited. Japanese animation is full of very wide charms. British animation is the reason I started to make clay animation, and this time I am looking forward to introducing my speciality, Japanese stop-motion animation, to you. I am going to bring my puppets which I used in my film. Please talk to me when you see me at Chapter.

Translated by Eiko Meredith

Isao Takahata – Director, Co-Founder Studio Ghibli

Isao Takahata

I am delighted to hear that this Japanese Animation Film Festival will be held at Cardiff, a city with a tradition of hosting film festivals. When I was informed that the title of the Festival was to be KOTATSU, I immediately felt something of a personal affinity; it was very much a serendipitous moment for me. By sheer coincidence one of my own films “Hohokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun” (My Neighbors the Yamadas) has many scenes based around the kotatsu, a Japanese style of room/body heater. The image of sitting around the kotatsu symbolizes the pleasure of happy family life in Japan. If you ever have the opportunity to see the film you will understand what kotatsu means. And that’s why I am particularly pleased to be able to wish every success to the KOTATSU Film Festival.

Translated by Midori Matsui

Yasuhiro Yoshiura – Director: Patema Inverted

Photo of Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Yasuhiro Yoshiura


‘Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema)’ appeals to people globally, whatever their language and culture, whether they are devout fans of animation or not. I very much hope that everyone who visits Kotatsu Japanese Animation Film Festival 2014 thoroughly enjoys the first Welsh showing of this film.

Translated by Midori Matsui

Tsuneo Goda – Director: Komaneko

Tsuneo Goda

The Kotatsu Film Festival is such a lovely name for this festival of animation. Thank you once again for inviting me to participate in the festival. Komaneko is presented using ‘cat‘s language’. Some parts are also shown in ‘dog’s language’. The film should therefore be enjoyed by Japanese and British people, and indeed by people the world over, whatever their language. I would be thrilled and delighted to know that you enjoyed my film.

Sayoko Kinoshita – Director, International Animation Festival, Hiroshima

Sayoko Kinoshita

I visited Cardiff in 1992, when I cooperated to curate special programs of Japanese animation for an international animation festival held in Cardiff at that time. I remember that I felt very relaxed during my stay, where I enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere of this historical city, and also, by many people I met at the shopping centre who were so kind and warm. I even thought of living in a city like Cardiff! Perhaps, the Welsh language might have given me a warm impression too.

Then, in HIROSHIMA ’98, I was very pleased to show a very strong special program of Welsh Animation, having originality and individuality in variety, and I also showed the program in Okinawa after our festival. At that time, I was delighted to learn the unique history and climate of Wales, reflected in the films. As such, I truly hope the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2010 will provide a good opportunity for Japanese animation film-makers to spread their animation culture in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, as well as to study the very high-quality British animation art too.

I also hope that the Festival will serve as a good site for friendship and exchange, just like a family gathering at Kotatsu, supporting many Japanese animation film-makers to become very successful internationally.

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