Japanese anime director Kon dead at 46

Japanese animation director Satoshi Kon, whose films using cutting-edge animation techniques captured audiences worldwide, has died of pancreatic cancer, his office said Wednesday.

He was 46.

He died at 6:20am on Tuesday (2100GMT on Monday), his office, called Kon's Tone, said on its website.

His movie "Paprika" was screened at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and won the audience award at the annual Brussels anime festival in 2007. His third work, "Tokyo Godfathers" (2003), was nominated for a US Academy Award.

Kon was born in Hokkaido and debuted as a manga comic artist in 1985 while he was a student at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

He made his debut as an anime director in 1997 with "Perfect Blue", and won acclaim for his refined and realistic expressions.

His second anime, "Millennium Actress", was released in 2001 and distributed worldwide, winning awards at film festivals.

A story about a documentary filmmaker investigating the life of a reclusive, legendary actress, it is interwoven with her movies, in sequences in which reality and cinema become blurred.

Kon was working on "Yumemiru Kikai (Dream Machine)" before his death.

Featuring a futuristic adventure starring a robot, it would have been his first work aimed at children after he produced a series of what he called "animations which adults can enjoy".