The world of Japanese anime will be the subject of the retrospective for next year's Locarno Film Festival (August 5-15, 2009) which will also mark the last edition under artistic director Frederic Maire before he becomes head of the Swiss Cinematheque in Lausanne.

The Manga Impact retrospective and exhibition will provide insights into the world of Manga and Anime to reveal their extraordinary range in social, cultural and aesthetic terms.

The project is being prepared by the Locarno festival in collaboration with the Film Museum in Turin, which will host the event from September 16 to November 15, 2009.

The initiative is being organised around several components, beginning with an internet site - - with information on the planned events, which went online this week; a retrospective of Anime feature films, shorts, and TV work; and an exhibition of artwork, magazine, publications, merchandising, toys, figurines and video games.

At this year's festival, artistic director Maire dedicated a special event to Kitaro, a cult figure in Japanese animation, well-known to manga enthusiasts of all ages.

The festival's audiences were able to see two full-length live action features, both adaptations from a manga series created in 1959 which brought modern popularity for the yokai, the mysterious creatures of Japanese folklore that include the now famous Kitaro: Gegege no Kitaro (Kitaro, 2007) and the sequel Gegege no Kitaro Sennen Noroi Uta (Kitaro and the Millennium Curse, 2008), both directed by Katsuhide Motoki.