Two Japanese titles to compete for top prize in Annecy
Wednesday 02 June 2010
Two feature-length films from Japan have been selected to compete in the Feature Films category at that upcoming Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
The six-day event opens in the French city on June 7 and is renowned within the world of animation as the oldest and largest festival for animated movies. Started in 1960, when the animation category split from the Cannes Film Festival, it has grown into the most important event for the sector, particularly for its film market and conferences.
Seven films will be competing in the Feature Films category, with the Japanese titles Summer Wars and One Piece Film: Strong World.
Summer Wars is the second film directed by Mamoru Hosoda to be nominated for an award in Annecy. His previous offering, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, won the Special Distinction for Feature Films in 2007.
The entries from Japan - which prides itself on its anime and mange traditions - will be up against stiff competition. The other entrants are Fantastic Mr. Fox from the United States, Metropia from Sweden, Allez raconte! from France, the joint Italian-French title Kerity la maison des contes and Piercing 1, from China.
The festival has focused more of its attention on feature films in recent years, turning from the short productions that previously dominated the event. The opening film for the festival has been named as Shrek Forever After.
As well as the Japanese titles shortlisted for the competition, four of the six works competing in the category of Feature Films Out of Competition are from Japan. The four have been named as Mai Mai Miracle, Evangelion: 2.0 You Cannot Advance, Redline and Yona Yona Penguin.
Further underlining Japan's strength in animated entertainment, five Japanese titles have been put forward in the Short Films section, three are running for the TV Series award, a further two are in the Graduation Films section and one is competing in the Music Video category.
Another six films from Japan have been included in the Short Films Out of Competition category - and there is a growing sense that Japanese titles could sweep the board in the year that the Annecy International Animated Film Festival celabrates its 50th anniversary.
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