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HIROSHIMA

Animation fest seeks peace

by Naoko Kuramochi

Hiroshima plays host to various types of animated films from all over the world this weekend.

Under the theme of “love and peace,” the 13th International Animation Festival starts the day after the country commemorates the Aug. 6, 1945, nuclear attack on the city.

The festival is endorsed by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (ASIFA) and will last five days. This year, the festival’s competition program attracted 1,937 applications from 56 different countries. From these applications, a selection committee has chosen 57 films from 22 countries. A six-member international jury will evaluate the films, and announce award winners in the Grand Prix, Hiroshima Prize, Debut Prize and other competition categories on the final day of the festival. The audience will also have its say by voting for a special Audience Prize.

In addition to the competition program, noted animated works from other film festivals will also be screened, such as biopic “Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien,” as well as a new short from Walt Disney Studios titled “Tick Tock Tale.” The Disney showing marks the first time that Asian audiences can see this film, and its director, Dean Wellins, will be on hand to deliver a lecture.

The festival also features a number of special programs, including retrospectives of works by Raoul Servais and Kihachiro Kawamoto. Although the festival includes several films in tune with the theme of world peace, organizers have also arranged a specific “Animation for Peace” program. Screenings will include films such as “Minoru: Memory of Exile,” “Hasan Everywhere” and “When Peace Plays with People.”

The 13th International Animation Festival in Japan will be held at the Aster Plaza in Hiroshima. A one-day pass for adults costs ¥2,500 in advance and ¥3,000 at the door. Various other ticketing options are also available. For more details, visit www.hiroanim.org