Award Winners

Critics’ Award

Each year our panel of judges, all industry professionals, honours the best film at each venue.

Audience Award

The audiences at each venue vote for their favourite film.

Below is a record of all winners since the awards were introduced in 2021.

2023 Awards

The First Slam Dunk

The First Slam Dunk
© 2022 THE FIRST SLAM DUNK Film Partners

Director: Takehiko Inoue

Cardiff Audience Award 2023
Aberystwyth Audience Award 2023
Bangor Audience Award 2023 (Joint winner)
Aberystwyth Critics’ Award 2023

Patema Inverted

©Yasuhiro Yoshiura

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura

Bangor Audience Award 2023 (Joint winner)

Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai
© 2014-2015 Hinako Sugiura•MS.HS / Sarusuberi Film Partners

Director: Keiichi Hara

Cardiff Critics’ Award 2023

Blue Thermal

Blue Thermal
©2022 BLUE THERMAL Film Partners

Director: Masaki Tachibana

Bangor Critics’ Award 2023

2022 Awards


Cardiff Critics’ Award 2022
Cardiff Audience Award 2022
Aberystwyth Audience Award 2022

Screenshot of the Award Winning Inu-Oh by Masaaki Yuasa
©2021 “INU-OH” Film Partners

Message from Masaaki Yuasa, Director:




I am very excited about the news that ”INU-OH” received the Critics Award at Chapter and the Audience Award at Chapter and Aberystwyth!!

”INU-OH” is a story which takes place in old Japan, and although some parts of this film must be difficult to understand, these kind of events and people could have happened or existed everywhere. I am very happy that the people of Wales appreciated this title.

Thank you very much!!

The House of the Lost on the Cape

Aberystwyth Critics’ Award 2022

©Sachiko Kashiwaba, KODANSHA/2021 The House of the Lost on the Cape Committee.

Message from Shinya Kawatsura, Director:





I am so glad to receive an award at the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival.

This film is a story in a small town, a couple months after the Great East Japan Earthquake that happened in March, 2011.

This enormous earthquake disaster left a strong impression on the Japanese. Therefore I hardly wrote any dialogue about it. Simply because if you see the images you can understand more than enough.

I am very much looking forward to knowing how this film with less dialogue reaches the British audience.

It was a story about small encounters, and I made this film hoping,  it will also be the time for people to heal even a little.

I would love to go to Wales one day. Thank you very much.

Junk Head

Bangor Critics’ Award 2022

Junk Head
© Takahide Hori

Message from Takahide Hori, Director:

現在続編を制作中なのでまた多くの人に見て頂けるよう頑張ります。「JUNK HEAD」堀貴秀監督 

I am very glad to receive an award in the UK. When I was making it (Junk Head), I thought this kind of niche style may not be generally accepted. I am surprised that when this film was released, many people received it positively. Additionally the fact my film has been accepted by people overseas has given me great confidence. I am currently working on a sequel so I’ll do my best, and hopefully again my film will be watched by many people.

2021 Awards


Cardiff Critics’ Award 2021
Cardiff Audience Award 2021

© Hiroyuki Ohashi / Rock’n Roll Mountain / Tip Top

Message from Kenji Iwaisawa, Director:

A video message was played out before the film screening, but we have no official written comment as yet.

Children Of The Sea

Aberystwyth Critics’ Award 2021

Children of the Sea
©2019 Daisuke Igarashi・Shogakukan / “Children of the Sea” Committee

Message from Ayumu Watanabe, Director:

On hearing that I was going to receive this wonderful award, I found myself jumping out of my own kotatsu in amazement and excitement! Wales is a place that I have always longed to visit. I am delighted that Children of the Sea was screened there, and hope it helped the festival audience to experience the richness of anime. Sharing warmth [with a kotatsu] and sharing emotions with the genre of anime… what a wonderful match! When I was a student, I used to put the kotatsu on my futon and slept there, so I have a very strong attachment to it. All our staff members are very proud to become a part of the history of the Kotatsu Festival.Thank you very much! I wish the festival’s continued success!

Josée, The Tiger and The Fish

Aberystwyth Audience Award 2021

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
©2020 Seiko Tanabe / KADOKAWA / Josee Project

Message from Kotaro Tamura, Director:

I heard that the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival is celebrating its 11th Anniversary and this is the first year it has conferred awards. And our anime film, Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, was voted to win the first audience award. I am truly honoured. This was a story expanded from the novel written by Seiko Tanabe in 1984. By adapting it into a film, it has transcended time, borders, and reached to the hearts of the people in Wales, which is amazing. All the staff members are delighted to have been part of this event.Thank you again to those who voted for this film. If you ever face a setback, do remember the smiles of Josee and Tsuneo. May the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival have many more successful years to come.

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