Programme October 2020

We’re back this October to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, all free, online and live on our YouTube Channel and via Zoom. We’re excited to present four screenings and three Zoom meetings, with four short film programmes featuring award winning film makers and emerging talents from various universities across Japan.

We are also supporting women in film and production by implementing the F-Rated system. The F-Rating is applied to all films which are directed by women and/or written by women. If the film ALSO has significant women on screen, it receives a TRIPLE F-Rating, the gold standard. The rating allows audiences to “vote with your seat” and proactively choose to go and see F-Rated films.


In partnership with The Japan Foundation London


Saturday 24th October

UK time / Japan Time 日本時間
11:00 am / 19時 Koji Yamamura and Kotatsu Special
01:00 pm / 21時 Miho Yata &Takeshi Yoda Q&A (Zoom)
18:00 pm / 2時 (25日) Student Programme 1

Sunday 25th October

UK time / Japan Time 日本時間
12:00 pm / 21時 Chie Arai Animation Workshop (Zoom)
14:00 pm / 23時 Fusako Yusaki Q&A (Zoom)
16:00 pm / 1時 (26日) Student Programme 2
18:00 pm / 3時 (26日) Koji Yamamura and Kotatsu Special

Download a handy PDF with details of the entire programme.

Full details below


All films are in Japanese with English subtitles. The stream is declared safe for children, the equivalent of a U rating in UK cinema. Please be sure to subscribe to our Kotatsu YouTube Channel in advance and click the notification bell to receive all notifications when we go live or post any new content. Each YouTube stream will have a 15 minute lobby prior to programme start where you are free to join, settle in, get your popcorn and drinks ready and chat amongst yourselves.


Saturday 24th – Programme Details


11:00 am / 19時 (日本時間)
Koji Yamamura Special and Kotatsu Special Selection

Photo of Koji Yamamura
Koji Yamamura

Part 1Koji Yamamura Special

A programme of films from Koji Yamamura including the UK Premiere of “Dreams Into Drawing” .

Dur: 1hr 50m
Where: Live on YouTube Channel


Introduction (5m25s)
Koji Yamamura
Japanese – English Pictionary (11m40s)
Koji Yamamura
Mount Head (10m02s)
Koji Yamamura
Notes on Monstropedia (6m10s)
Koji Yamamura
Water Dreams (10m44s)
Koji Yamamura
Dreams Into Drawing (10m17s)
Koji Yamamura

Part 2 – Kotatsu Special Selection

A selection of short films from independent film-makers including the world premiere of The King of Amechau Country, and UK premiere films.

Approximate start time ~11:55am.

The King of Amechau Country 〜Mother Goose〜 (2m06s)
Miho Yata
Dreams (2m10s)
Chie Arai
Dino! (24m42s)
Shin Hosokawa
Deep Sea’s Rainbow (10m56s)
Makiko Sukikara
Waltz (14m10s)
Mari Miyazawa

Voting Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for their favourite films. Voting is now closed, and the results are in. Dreams Into Drawing takes the top spot for the Koji Yamamura Programme, and Dino! wins the vote for the Kotatsu Special Programme.

Audience award image for winner of the Koji Yamamura Programme
Dreams Into Drawing – Koji Yamamuara
Audience award image for winner of the Kotatsu Special Programme
Dino! – Shin Hosokawa
Expand Programme Details

Koji Yamamura Special


Introduction
Koji Yamamura

After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1987, he founded Yamamura Animation, Inc. in 1993 and has worked steadily, refining his style while making films for children. His most famous work is the short, Mount Head (2002) which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Other titles include Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor (2007) and Muybridge’s Strings (2011). His films have been awarded more than 90 prizes including the grand prizes of major international animation festivals such as Annecy, Ottawa and Hiroshima. He has also received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2019. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a professor of Tokyo University of the Arts.
Website

Japanese – English Pictionary
Koji Yamamura (11m30s)

World Premiere of 4K version

Both in English and Japanese, words develop in parallel from “A” to “Z” (from “A” to “Nn” in Japanese syllabary) taking the last syllable of the previous word. Ant-Take off-F…, Ari-Ririku-Ku… Along with the developments of those words, images metamorphoses using various animation technique so to be a pictorial encyclopaedia of animation techniques.

Mount Head
Koji Yamamura (10m)

After a stingy man eats some cherry seeds, a cherry tree grows on his head and he gets into a lot of trouble. This animated film is a modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese Rakugo story “Atama-yama” set in contemporary Tokyo.

Notes on Monstropedia
Koji Yamamura (6m)

An animated archive of imaginary monsters written by a fictitious monster-ologist in Medieval Europe. This work depicts the habits of monsters using movements inspired by short phrases such as “Taste of Tears”, “Tamed Wildness”, etc.

Water Dreams
Koji Yamamura (11m)

This film depicts evolution from the birth of life to whales in the sea with music and images by dedication to the American contemporary composer George Klum’s “Vox Balaenae (1971)” There are 4 parts; Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

Dreams Into Drawing
Koji Yamamura (10m)

UK Premiere

The painter KUWAGATA KEISAI lived over 200 years ago. He illustrated Ways to Sketch, a series of picture books depicting humans and animals, all richly expressed. One day he was sketching a carp when suddenly he fell asleep and, in his dream, transfigured into a carp. The carp was enjoying his swim, but when a fisherman caught him things suddenly took a turn for the worse…


The King of Amechau Country 〜Mother Goose〜
Miho Yata

World Premiere
Born 1974. Studied Children’s literature and children’s culture at university. While studying she was inspired by ‘Wallace and Gromit’ and started to have an interest in stop-motion animation. In 1999, she started creating Knit-animation and picture books.

Lecture at Shirayuri University Department of Children’s Culture/Member of Japan Animation Association
Website


Dreams
Chie Arai

What do horses dream about? Drawing animation with an embroidery look, this film is created like a picture book.

A graduate from the Department of Fine Arts, Northern Arizona University, after working at an animation studio, Arai has worked as a freelancer since 2002. Her techniques include hand drawn animation and illustration and she creates books and animation videos including Dreams (2008). Since 2006, she has been orchestrating and exhibiting the “Flip Book Manga Cafe Exhibition”, a collective of writers and artists who love to make wonderfully varied flip books. As well as creating her own art, she guides others and works as an associate professor at Bunka Gakuen University Department of Art and Design.
Website


Dino!
Shin Hosokawa

European premiere of this stop-motion animation movie in which a boy and his friend, Dino the crocodile, continue their journey to find the lost crown before the tapir. This is an old-style adventure movie about friendship and communication.

A graduate of Tama Art University’s Master’s Program Design Course, he now works as a writer, director, animator and is an assistant professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University as well as a working animator. His latest work, Dino! has been programmed by Kotatsu
Twitter


Deep Sea’s Rainbow
Makiko Sukikara

UK Premiere

The idea is a myth of the deep-sea. A sperm whale swallows the sun and swims toward the deep-sea. A giant squid inherits the sunshine.
Thousands of squid babies are born like shining stars. Love beyond Species in the deep-sea. A rainbow appears in a moonlit night. A giant squid finishes laying eggs and bids farewell to her own life. A sperm whale feels the rhythm of the universe with the sun as usual.

Makiko Sukikara works as an animator. She studied at the summer school in Film School Zlin in the Czech Republic. Since 2010, she has been animating and has created animation works by the multiplane camera, many of which have been screened at international festivals. She creates stories with animals as the main characters with titles like While the Crow Weeps (2013) and Deep Sea’s Rainbow (2019), the latter programmed for Kotatsu’s forthcoming stream.
Website

Still from Deep Seas Rainbow

Waltz
Mari Miyazawa

UK Premiere

Even among mankind, age, tastes and appearances, can lead to groups and opposition. But people can exist in multiple groups at the same time, and their situation can change many times even within a single day. These movements are light and easy, like dancing a waltz. Set in a world where different food types are in conflict, a sausage named Nine, works together with his friend Ravi, a raviolo, to try and bring about harmony.

Mari Miyazawa is a bento artist and animator who has combined her food decorating skills with animation to make unique films. This desire to meld the two disciplines started when she wanted to see her characters move and so joined the Tokyo National University of Arts Graduate School where she studied under Yuichi Ito. Since graduating in 2014, Mari’s films have played at various festivals including the prestigious Ottawa International Animation Festival where her film Konigiri-Kun Orugoru (2017) won the Award for Best Animation for Young Audiences.
Website

mari-miyazawa-waltz-film-still

Close Programme


1:00 pm / 21時(日本時間)
Miho Yata and Takeshi Yoda Q&A

Who could have imagined that colourful wool threads could be transformed into a cute and fun animation with lots of sheep! Yata Miho, a Japanese animation creator, mesmerized viewers when her work was streamed as part of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival special in July. Together with Yoda Takeshi, the composer and theremin player who performed the memorable music in The King of Amechau Country, they will talk about their creative processes and their sources of inspiration in this online talk.

Advanced Bookings Only: Via Eventbrite

Moderator: Abigail Addison
Translator: Bethan Jones

Dur: 60m
Where: Zoom


18:00 pm / 25日 2時(日本時間)
Short Films Programme 1

A programme of students films of Tokyo Zokei University and Tama Art University.

Dur: 1hr 15m
Where: Live on YouTube Channel


Tokyo Zokei University


Introduction
Prof. Masaaki Mori
Tashika’s Strange Adventure
Airi Sato & Sakamoto Nao
Tiny World
Yuri Matsumoto
It Is Love
Akiho Shimizu
Too Bee Continued
Aki Ezure
Radio Town
Keiko Matsuda

Tama Art University


Introduction
Isaku Kaneko
The Girl
Hana Ozeki
Kinemacolor
Yutaro Sasaki
A Walrus of Handshake Event
Katomomo
Mubi
Tomoe Obayashii
Happy Zoo
Zhijie Wang
People at 3pm
Yuwei Wang
Yurayura Ki
Asami Tatsumoto
Half of an Apple
Zhou Xiaolin
The Balloon Catcher
Isaku Kaneko

Voting Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for their favourite films. Voting is now closed, and the results are in.

The winner of the Audience Award for the Short Films Programme 1 is Tiny World by Yuri Matsumoto.

Audience award image for winner of the Student Short Films Programme 1
Tiny World – Yuri Matsumoto

Expand Tokyo Zokei Programme

Tokyo Zokei University


Introduction
Prof. Masaaki Mori

Tashika’s Strange Adventure
Airi Sato & Sakamoto Nao

At one point, Tashika finds himself “repeating” before he knows. From that awareness, a mysterious adventure around him that exists in various forms begins. What is Tashika’s answer to know the fact that he is in the adventure and finish “repeat”?

Tiny World
Yuri Matsumoto

This is a work that looks a little at such a small world. However, the things that are placed there actually have their own lives and may have various feelings. Many stories may have been born and gone.

It Is Love
Akiho Shimizu

A love story for parents and children that expresses the importance of communicating love.

Too Bee Continued
Aki Ezure

The girl lived on a vinyl-covered ship, a little away from the bees and the people who live there. One day, the bees make a fuss about something. The joy and stress of connecting with people that I felt in my daily life was made with a positive feeling. Please leave difficult things and enjoy them as entertainment.

Radio Town
Keiko Matsuda

I know you want an explanation, I understand. sorry.

Close Programme


Expand Tama Art Programme

Tama Art University


Introduction
Isaku Kaneko

Research assistant Isaku Kaneko introduces films from Tama Art University and the meaning of Tama-Gra Animation.

The Girl
Hana Ozeki

A girl who lives in a big mysterious town that seems to be a natural phenomenon and it may be an ordinary hallucination. The parts of the life which seem related yet not related, which are girlhood and the shade was drawn.

Kinemacolor
Yutaro Sasaki

Vivid monsters appear in a colourless world. The hero who is a painter can’t help but be shocked by the information about the existence of monsters and the colours he sees for the first time, and chooses to transform and fight. What will the main character choose when he comes into contact with the beauty of the world of warfare?

A Walrus of Handshake Event
Katomomo

I made this animation with seven different male and female characters, dubbing each with my own voice; Pigeon, Tortoise, Unicorn, Crocodile, etc. A panic is going to happen again today. Tragedy will fall upon their friend the Tortoise. The other three characters try to help him, but they will also get involved in it. What will be their fate?

Mubi
Tomoe Obayashii

This animation thematizes dreams that you can’t wake up from. In Japanese, “mubi(夢寐)” means the dreams you have whilst asleep. “Shakuya mubi(夙夜夢寐)” is a four character idiom meaning dreams you have whether you are asleep or awake. He has conflict, rapture and anguish, and he will know as to why he cannot leave his dream.

Happy Zoo
Zhijie Wang

In this zoo, the environment is actually reproduced by holographic projection technology, while animals live there comfortably as if in nature. However, when it is closed down and the projector is turned off, the vivid world fades till the animals are left in an empty room. We cannot tell whether animals can become aware of the absence of the environment.

People at 3pm
Yuwei Wang

Jumping out of the perspective of each individual, everyone is the “protagonist” of his or her own life. However, all these “protagonists” come together and become our real life — a world full of variety but without protagonist. By asking “If you have an alter ego, what do you think it would do at 3 this afternoon?” to more than 30 interviewees, I selected 3 of the most interesting answers, which are from 50s, 60s, 70s, to be the base of this imaginative narrative.

Yurayura Ki
Asami Tatsumoto

Everything keeps changing. Nothing lasts forever. For example, neither sadness nor happiness are controlled. This animation is a girl in unstable world.

Half of an Apple
Zhou Xiaolin

On a boring afternoon in December, Papa Bear washed an apple and cut it in half, giving half to me and half to my twin sister. We all don’t like the apple with a kitchen knife smell.

The Balloon Catcher
Isaku Kaneko

An axe-human was living in a city of balloon-humans, but the axe-human was watched by balloon-police because his sharp blade frightens balloon-humans. While the axe-human tries to get along with them, a balloon-human gets killed on the gloomy subway platform.

Close Programme


Sunday 25th – Programme Details

12:00 pm / 21時(日本時間)
Chie Arai Animation Workshop

Photo of Chie Arai
Chie Arai

Chie Arai is the creator behind the twinkling and friendly mascot of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival. She is also an animator who created the festival’s opening animations and other short films. Her drawings are quite often seen in the form of flip books, and bring to mind a similarity to manga. In this workshop, she will explain where the idea for the cute character came from, illustrating step-by-step the process of her creation. Participants will be invited to join a brief session in which they can try and test their skill on paper to check their potential for being a future animator!

This event is suitable for participants over the age of 13.

Please get your paper and pencils ready for your creation!

Advanced Bookings Only: Via Eventbrite

Moderator: Shangomola
Translator: Kaori Onoda

Dur: 60m
Where: Zoom


14:00 pm / 23時(日本時間)
Fusako Yusaki Q&A

Fusako Yusaki

Having lived and worked in Italy, Fusako Yusaki is an award-wining female creator and a pioneer of Japanese clay animation. She was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year! Metamorphosing clay into a lively animation rich in colours defines her work and her philosophy: nothing remains the same. In this very special talk, in conversation with Robin Lyons – a producer of animation and the Managing Director of Calon – Fusako will explore her long-standing career and how her life and work has changed shape like the ever-malleable materials she loves.

Please get your clay ready to try ‘Clay Metamorphosis’ with Fusako.

Advanced Bookings Only: Via Eventbrite

Moderator: Robin Lyons
Translator: Kaori Onoda

Dur: 60m
Where: Zoom


16:00 pm / 26日1時(日本時間)
Short Films Programme 2

A programme of short films from the students of Kyoto Seika University, Hiroshima City University and Kyoto University of the Arts.

Dur: 1hr 15m
Where: Live on YouTube Channel


Kyoto Seika University


City of Willden
Lin Junbun
Tofu into Space
Sadakazu Tanigaki
Magic Hour
Mizuho Tanaka
Battleline
Mine Shuri
With Me.
Hatsumi Uegai / Arisa Toyoda

Hiroshima City University


TapeA
Izumi Tanimura
Remind
Kanako Yamakido

Kyoto University of the Arts


Umbrella
Haku Uko
Bad Night
Ding Kaixin
My Imaginary Friends
Mahzoun Maryam
Fear
Deng Xiaocao
Goldfish Grave
Lyu Xinyang
Tam’rind
Michelle Anmarie Keane
Wolves
Moe Ikawa

Voting Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for their favourite films. Voting is now closed, and the results are in. The winner of the Audience Award for the Short Films Programme 2 is With Me. by Hatsumi Uegai and Arisa Toyoda.

Audience award image for winner of the Student Short Films Programme 2
With Me. – Hatsumi Uegai / Arisa Toyoda

Expand Kyoto Seika Programme

Kyoto Seika University


Introduction
Takuma Sakamoto

Lecturer Takuma Sakamoto introduces 5 short films from Kyoto Seika University.

City of Willden
Lin Junbun

In this animation, I would like to show a beautiful foggy planet, called ‘Willden’. Different from the Earth, in this planet some people are able to control physical things by mind control. The main character is using this power to protect his homeland when the enemy appears…

Touhu, Sorahe
Keimi Tanigaki

Roughly translated as ‘Tofu, Into Space‘, a small tofu longing for the moon, with the desire to meet the moon, we aim for the universe over time.

Magic Hour
Mizuho Tanaka

You can see it, you can’t see it, you can’t see it.

Battleline
Mine Shuri

It’s a story about an ordinary high-school girl going home with twists and turns.

With Me.
Hatsumi Uegai / Arisa Toyoda

A girl who grows up with a changing town. Someday, memories of those days.

Close Programme


Expand Hiroshima City Programme

Hiroshima City University


Introduction
Izumi Tanimura (Director of TapeA)
TapeA
Izumi Tanimura

People live in their beliefs.

Remind
Kanako Yamakido

Unexpected momentary reminders of my old self.

Close Programme


Expand Kyoto University of the Arts Programme

Kyoto University of the Arts


Umbrella
Haku Uko

The “matchmaking corner” in People’s Square in Shanghai, China is a place where parents meet for their children, and the participants of the matchmaking competition are not the people themselves, but the parents put their child’s information on their umbrellas. It is a place to recommend your child and look for people who look good – like a property. Many of the people who are matched by their parents are women, and they are called “surplus women” in China. Literally, it’s a woman left in the marriage market. I hope you will see the work and feel the conflict in their hearts and the contradiction in the parent-child relationship.
Website

Bad Night
Ding Kaixin

In a quiet, sleepless night, I turned off the lights and tried to sleep, and my eyes were rather clear. Various emotions appear and disappear in front of you by yourself. I animated the emotions of that night.
Twitter

My Imaginary Friends
Mahzoun Maryam

My dad has always enjoyed scribbling and making characters since I was a kid. This time, I made a part of it an animation. Also, it was fun to move characters and give them life by animation, and I wanted to convey this fun with animation and music.
Instagram

Fear
Deng Xiaocao

This work is an animation that the director experienced as a hearing-impaired person.
Tell them that you are anxious, fearful, subservient, and uncertain about your future.
YouTube

Goldfish Grave
Lyu Xinyang

“What do goldfish think in the cold, cold, soil?”
This is a passage from Misuzu Kaneko’s nursery rhyme “Goldfish Tomb”. It’s a poem that makes you feel very lonely. The goldfish that was my only friend. I animated the behaviour and illusions of the owner who lost the goldfish in my own interpretation.
Instagram

Tam’rind
Michelle Anmarie Keane

Tamarind is a stop-motion animation with the theme of racism. In the story, a black girl went to a candy store to buy sweets. However, the candy store did not sell her sweets. Discriminated against, she later built her own candy store. Think about yourself, everyone. Ask yourself, “Am I the candy store or that girl?” What is your answer?
Instagram

Wolves
Moe Ikawa

People wear human skin to live in society, hiding the figure under the skin. There are different ways to hide, and I don’t think it’s easy to live by exposing the true figure. Longing to take off the cramped skin and live as you wish, and anxiety about not being able to return to human society. I wanted to animate the conflicting emotions within me.

Website

Close Programme


18:00 pm / 26日3時(日本時間)
Koji Yamamura, Shin Hosokawa & More

Koji Yamamura

A re-run of the films from Saturday morning in case you missed them, or want to see them again.

Dur: 90m
Where: Live on YouTube Channel



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