The “Niigata International Animation Film Festival,” focusing on feature length commercial animation, will be held for the first time in Niigata from March 17 to March 22, 2023.
The news was announced during a press conference held by the festival’s executive committee on May 23, 2022. The jury will be directed by director Mamoru Oshii, and the festival director will be Shinichiro Inoue, a senior advisor to KADOKAWA.
The festival will promote animation culture from Niigata to the world.
The caption on the festival’s key visual says, “At the end of the nineteenth century, Niigata was Japan’s largest city.” Niigata aspires to be the world capital of animation by the end of the twenty-first century.”
This section will comprise approximately 10-12 feature films (of at least 40 minutes in length). The Niigata International Animation Film Festival is anticipated to screen 25-35 films, including those participating in the competition.
Entries for the competition will be accepted beginning in November 2022.
The festival will include ani-song live performances, art events, seminars, and symposiums on the animation industry, in addition to competitions and screenings specialised in feature-length commercial animation. The event is expected to attract 12,000 paid visitors.
The city of Niigata, which has produced many great manga artists and animation producers, has traditionally played a leadership position in human resource development and animation.
Furthermore, due to the large number of vocational schools and professional institutions in Japan, the number of students hoping to be manga artists is the largest at 400.
Mr. Oshii, the jury’s chairman, stated that while there are numerous animation festivals, they are all primarily art-related. He highlighted his aim to make the Niigata International Animation Film Festival an entertaining event that would draw a large number of viewers as an animation festival that focuses on enjoyment rather than art.
It will be shown at four locations, including Niigata Citizen’s Plaza and Kaishi Professional University.
On May 23, a news conference was conducted connecting the three cities of Niigata, Tokyo, and Cannes (France).