WOWOW Plus Co., Ltd.
World-famous animation artist Koji Yamamura’s latest directed and produced work “‘Kita no Kita’ and Three Shorts” will be released to the general public on Friday, January 27, 2023!
“Kita no Kita” 61st Annecy International Animated Film Festival & 46th Ottawa International Animated Film Festival Commemoration
Two companies, WOWOW Plus Co., Ltd. (President Kazuhiko Okuma) and Yamamura Animation Co., Ltd. (President Koji Yamamura) * 1, will be directed by animation writer Koji Yamamura from January 27, 2023 (Friday). Alternatively, we will co-distribute the latest 4 works we have produced under the title of “Ikuta no Kita and Three Short Stories”, and will release them in theaters nationwide, starting with the release at Shin Bungeiza in Ikebukuro, Tokyo ( Distribution cooperation: Child Film Co., Ltd. CEO Masako Kudo).
■ Both Annecy and Ottawa are acclaimed! Koji Yamamura’s ambitious first feature film “Many Kita” is finally released in triumph! Koji Yamamura is known as one of Japan’s leading animation artists and as a picture book author with over 100 books. In recent years, he is also the lyricist of “Beruganaru”, which was the ending theme of NHK E-TV “Okaasan to Issho”. increase. In addition, the animation part of the documentary film about dancer Min Tanaka directed by Inudo Isshin, released in theaters this year, has attracted a great deal of attention.
Yamamura has won more than 130 awards at film festivals around the world for many of his works, including Mt. Head (2002), which was nominated for the 75th Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. He is the only animation artist in the world who has won the Grand Prix at all four major animation film festivals (Annecy in France, Ottawa in Canada, Zagreb in Croatia, and Hiroshima in Japan)*2, and has been praised not only in Japan but also around the world. It continues to be admired.
“Kita no Kita” (2021/64 minutes) is an animation of the illustrations and accompanying text that he drew for the cover of the monthly magazine “Bungakukai” (Bungeishunju) from 2012 to 2014. This is the first full-length work that was completed at once during the quarantine under Corona. The anxieties and anguish he felt after the Great East Japan Earthquake were expressed in fragmented images and written over the somehow circus-like music of Dutch avant-garde jazz musician and composer Willem Breuker (1944-2010). It will be expressed in words. It doesn’t have a clear story, and it’s a “complete” finish that is different from what is generally imaged from the word “feature animation”. In the 61st Annecy International Animated Film Festival, he won the Crystal (highest award) in the feature length contrechamp category*3, and in September this year he won the Grand Prix in the feature length category at the 46th Ottawa International Animated Film Festival. It has won eight awards outside.
■Furthermore, three new short films, including Honami Yano’s topical film “Konetsumi”, which won 28 awards around the world, will be released at the same time!
Until now, this new feature film, which had been screened only at limited film festivals in Japan, will finally be released in general theaters in January 2023. In addition to Ikuta no Kita, Yamamura’s directorial work Polar Bear Sugukoku Hima (2021/7 min.), in which cute animals in ink painting move comically to song, and Yamamura’s production of young writers Kotsumi. (directed by Honami Yano / 2021 / 10 minutes), and “In the big garden of mini mini pockets” (directed by Yoko Yuki / 2022 / 7 minutes), three new short films will be screened at the same time. These three films have already won many awards at film festivals both in Japan and overseas (especially Yano’s “Bone-Blowing” won the Short Grand Prix at the 45th Ottawa
International Animation Film Festival in 2021, and won 28 awards at film festivals around the world. Awarded Mono Award), and when all four works are combined, the total number of awards reaches 50 * 4. This screening is not only a showcase of Koji Yamamura’s current situation, but also a showcase of the new talents that have been nurtured under him. prize.
“‘Kita no Kita’ and Three Short Films” (total screening time: about 90 minutes) Films (in order of screening)
In the big garden of mini-mini pockets (C) 2022 YUKI Yoko / Au Praxinoscope 1. In the big garden of mini-mini pockets (directed by Yoko Yuki, produced by Koji Yamamura/2022//7 min.)
An animated poem that makes a difference, spun from day to day while observing, recording, and experimenting. Yoko Yuki, who also worked on the in-program animation for the NHK E-TV program “Shakin!”, boldly animated her own diary like graffiti. A mixture of free-flowing haiku-like text, radical music by honninman, and surround sound. “Animation is so free!”
Polar bear really free time 2021 (C) Yamamura Animation
2 Polar bears have a lot of free time (directed by Koji Yamamura/2021/7 minutes) Polar bears, who are very free, meet various marine animals in the wide sea. “Caricature of Sea Monsters” drawn in the style of a picture scroll using words in Japanese and English. Cute sumi-e animals play with fun music and songs.
Bones (C) 2021 YANO Honami, Au Praxinoscope
3. Chewing bones (directed by Honami Yano, produced by Koji
At her father’s funeral, a girl remembers the last summer she spent with him. The life of a small island in Japan, reflected in layers of pointillism that twinkles like particles of light. Honami Yano, who also worked on the ecstatic PV and the ending animation of the anime “TRIGUN STAMPEDE”, spent two years painting the front and back of the paper, facing her own past. The afterglow still shakes the world. [Image 5
Kita no Kita 2021 (C) Yamamura Animation / Miyu Productions
4 Ikuta no Kita (directed by Koji Yamamura/2021/64 minutes)
There are no narrations or dialogues, but animations that you can “experience” while surrounded by sounds that are skillfully mixed with text that appears on the screen, delicately moving pictures, and music and sound effects. Like listening to music, like looking at pictures at an exhibition, the journey continues. A majestic masterpiece that reminds us of the passage of time by European live-action filmmakers such as Tarkovsky of the former Soviet Union and Tal Béla of Hungary. Resonating with the post 3.11 and corona disasters, the “North” of each viewer rises while surrendering themselves to the work. ■The premiere will be on January 27-29 at Shin-Bungeiza in 4K & 5.1ch for a limited period of three days (one screening per day)! A talk show with the directors is also planned.
All four works of “‘Kita no Kita’ and Three Short Stories” were produced in 4K resolution, and the sound was also 5.1ch. In order to let you enjoy the high quality as it is, we have selected Shinbungeiza in Ikebukuro, a long-established masterpiece theater, as the theater for the first public performance. In April of this year, a 4K projector and new speakers were introduced, and far from wiping out the conventional image of a “masterpiece theater”, it has evolved into a theater with a top-class screening environment among all movie theaters in Tokyo. Experience the impact of the work with the best image quality and sound on a large screen with a width of 10m and a seating capacity of about 260. We are also planning to hold a talk show with the directors during the screening period. The exhibition will be shown once a day from January 27th (Friday) to 29th (Sunday), 2023. Don’t miss this rare opportunity with less than 800 total seats for 3 days!
■”Koji Yamamura Works” will be delivered one step ahead of “Cinephil WOWOW Plus” on amazon prime video!
Prior to the theatrical release of the new work, from December 24, 2022, Yamamura’s 28 works from his student days from 1985 to 2019 will be divided into three works, “I”, “II”, and “III”. ) Started distribution on the amazon prime video channel – Cinephil WOWOW Plus – operated by WOWOW Plus. So far, this channel has extensively introduced the animation works of “artists” such as Russia’s Yuri Norstein, the UK’s Brothers Quay, France’s René Laloux’s “Fantastic Planet”, and Japan’s Kihachiro Kawamoto and Tadanari Okamoto. In addition, Koji Yamamura’s abundant works such as “Hyakka Zukan”, “Kayo and Pijobupto”, “Mount Head”, “Old Crocodile” and “Yumeminoe” will be added.
▼ “Cinefill WOWOW Plus” is a 14-day free trial for first-time registration! https://www.amazon.co.jp/channels/cinefilwowowjp
■Original art exhibition will be held to commemorate the screening! “Ikada no Kita and Three Short Stories” Exhibition of Original Paintings and Prints
In the big garden of mini-mini pockets ・Polar bears have a lot of free time Original drawings and prints of four animation works will be exhibited and sold. Date: January 20 (Friday) to March 25 (Saturday), 2023
January 20th, 21st,
February 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 24th, 25th,
March 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th
Venue: Opraxinoscope (7-13-11 Okusawa, Setagaya-ku, Fridays and Saturdays only, 12:00-18:00)
Tweets by Au_Praxinoscope
■ Work title: “Many North” and three short stories
■ Screening theater: Shin Bungeiza (Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward) Theater screening schedule: January 27 (Friday) to January 29 (Sunday), 2023 * Reserved seat tickets are sold online and at the theater window from 9:00 one week before the screening.
■ Official website: https://www.wowowplus.jp/cinefil/ikutanokita.html ■ Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/wowptheater
■Distribution: WOWOW Plus Co., Ltd./Au Praxinoscope
Distribution cooperation: Child Film Co., Ltd.
*1 The name of the distribution business is Au Praxinoscope. *2 “Mount Head” (2002) won Grand Prix in Annecy, Zagreb and Hiroshima, and “Kafka Country Doctor” (2007) won Grand Prix in Ottawa and Hiroshima. The “Hiroshima International Animation Festival”, which started in 1984, will end in 2020, and another film festival called “Hiroshima Animation Season” will start in 2022, and Yamamura will be the artistic director of this film festival. serving.
*3 The “Contrechamps” category targets long-form works that are experimental and innovative.
*4 The number of awards is as of December 9, 2022.
Details about this release: