Director of Colorful and Miss Hokusai selected for TIFF’s annual Animation Focus section. 

Miss Hokusai

This year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF, Oct 25-Nov 3) will highlight the work of Miss Hokusai director Keiichi Hara in its Animation Focus section.

TIFF said Hara had been chosen due to his “increased international recognition” as well as “his ability to combine a strong auteurist approach with commercial appeal”. The festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, also observed that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Japanese animation.

Full details of the titles selected for ‘The World of Keiichi Hara’ will be announced at the same time as the TIFF line-up in September. The animation focus will include screenings of Hara’s animated films and TV works, along with live action films. Screenings will be followed by panel sessions with special guests.

Following his early work on hit series such as Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan, Hara started working on more personal feature films including Summer Days With Coo (2007) and Colorful (2010), which won the Jury’s Special Distinction and Audience Award at Annecy animation film festival in 2011.

Hara’s latest work, Miss Hokusai (2015, pictured), received the Jury Award at Annecy and 12 other awards worldwide.

“This retrospective will reveal Hara’s unsentimental portrayals of a range of Japanese from different eras, including a high school student who’s losing his mind, film director Keisuke Kinoshita’s wartime experiences and the vibrant lives of two late-Edo period painters,” said TIFF’s animation focus programming advisor, Ryusuke Hikawa.

Previous editions of TIFF’s Special Focus on Japanese Animation have featured Hideaki Anno (Godzilla Resurgence), the Mobile Suit Gundam series and Mamoru Hosoda (The Boy And The Beast).