Niigata Int’l Animation Film Festival Honors Kazuki Higashiji, Takeshi Honda, Others

Niigata Int’l Animation Film Festival Honors Kazuki Higashiji, Takeshi Honda, Others

posted on by Anita Tai


The Niigata International Animation Film Festival announced on February 16 the winners of the Kōji Fukiya and Hiroshi Ōkawa awards, which include maboroshi (Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Kōjō, pictured at right) film art director Kazuki Higashiji and The Boy and the Heron animation director Takeshi Honda.

The recipients of the Kōji Fukiya award are Higashiji, Honda, and Lonely Castle in the Mirror (Kagami no Kojō) film scriptwriter Miho Maruo.

The winner of the Hiroshi Ōkawa award is anime studio CLAP, which animated the Pompo: The Cinéphile film.

The awards honor technical achievements in animation and are named after Toei Movies founder Kōji Fukiya and Toei‘s first president Hiroshi Ōkawa, who were both from Niigata.

Netflix began streaming Mari Okada and MAPPA‘s original anime film Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Kōjō (Alice and Therese’s Illusory Factory) under the title maboroshi on January 15. The film premiered in Japan on September 15.

This year’s festival will take place on March 15-20. Kurayukaba and maboroshi are both competing at this year’s festival.

The first Niigata International Animation Film Festival was held in March 2023, and featured Mamoru Oshii as the judging committee chairman. The festival screened the unrealized live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Ōtomo‘s Domu manga along with a retrospective section on Ōtomo. The festival also screened Shinichiro Watanabe‘s (Cowboy Bebop) “A Girl Meets a Boy and a Robot,” and Shuhei Morita‘s (Freedom, Tokyo Ghoul) “Roots” (Tsuru no Mai) animated short films.

The festival is planned to run every year, and it aims to be the largest festival of feature-length anime in Asia.

Niigata has hosted the Niigata Anime and Manga Festival and Niigata Manga Awards. The city is also home to some anime studios.

Sources: Niigata International Animation Film Festival, Comic Natalie

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