Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 10th Anniversary Celebrations


Photo by YAMAMURA Animation

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival started in 2010 in Cardiff and has been held every year as a showcase for Japanese animation and culture. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, however, comes in the midst of a global pandemic and so the decision was taken to hold a virtual event which will be open for all. 

On October 24th and 25th, viewers will be able to participate in the full line-up of screenings and events, all of which will be free to access via the festival’s YouTube channel and through various Zoom sessions. In total, they will be screening 37 films, including 28 works from students studying at 5 different Japanese universities, and 9 works from 5 award-winning animators, including Oscar-nominated Koji Yamamura (Mount Head) and Shin Hosokawa (Dino!), as well as new talent Makiko Sukikara (Deep Sea’s Rainbow). Furthermore, these films will be introduced by the creators themselves as the festival aims to continue in its mission to connect animators with audiences. 

A very exciting series of Zoom workshops have also been arranged in conjunction with the Japan Foundation. They will be hosted by veteran animators who have kindly taken the time to arrange some interesting activities. This is a great chance for students of animation/Japanese, or those simply interested, to interact with world-renowned animators. The workshops will cover a range of fun things, such as one dedicated to the art of character design, run by Chie Arai, while world-famous Fusako Yusaki talks about her career in claymation animation with a Q&A Session. There is also a talk with animator/director Miho Yata and theremin musician Takeshi Yoda.

Here is how to book:

Event: Knitting into Animation Online Talk with YATA Miho and YODA Takeshi

Date: Saturday, 24 October from 13:00 (BST) 

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/knitting-into-animation-online-talk-with-yata-miho-and-yoda-takeshi-tickets-122406506155

Photo by Miho Yata

Event: Animation Workshop with ARAI Chie Online Workshop

Date: Sunday, 25 October from 12:00 (BST)

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/animation-wor-with-arai-chie-tickets-122408987577


Event: Clay Metamorphosis Online Talk with YUSAKI Fusako

Date: Sunday, 25 October from 14:00 (BST) 

Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/clay-metamorphosis-an-online-talk-with-yusaki-fusako-tickets-122409926385

Photo of Fusako Yusaki

One of the goals since the festival’s inception has been to act as a gateway into the diverse world of Japanese animation. To achieve this, the festival has worked hard to ensure the films cover a wide variety of styles, from 2D to stop-motion and there is always an effort to make sure female filmmakers are highlighted. The 2020 festival will be the biggest celebration of this talent yet as 75% of the programme is composed of films directed by women are there is a wealth of styles in store. So, if you want to enjoy another side to Japanese animation, something that goes beyond Ghibli and Naruto, visit the Kotatsu Festival on October 24/25.

People will be able to participate in the full line-up of the screenings and events, all of which will be free, via their YouTube channel and through Zoom sessions. 


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