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London International Animation Festival 2020

London International Animation Festival 2020

Written by Jordan Scott on 02 Dec 2020


London International Animation Festival 2020 is being held from 27 November to 6 December. 

This year, all the festival’s events are available online throughout at least the UK and Ireland (a few are accessible worldwide) on Eventive (playable in its TV apps or on its website); a small number also have in-person screenings at the Barbican Centre in London.

The online events can be accessed for £6 each individually or with a pass to all from £35 to £45.

Though the festival has been running for a few days, all of the below-listed shorts playing in it that are in some way Japanese are, at the time of writing, still currently available or coming up.

Atsushi Wada’s My Exercise (Mai ekusasaizu, which also exists as a video game but appears here in non-interactive form) and Patrick Smith’s Beyond Noh (Biyondo nō, a USA–Japan co-production according to Stop Motion Montréal, Encounters and OIAF, though only a US one according to LIAF) play in International Competition Programme 4: Being Human, available from 30 November at 8:00 pm till 2 December at the same time. Rentals include access to a now-archived livestream with Smith and other directors. My Exercise received an honourable mention at Animafest Zagreb 2020.

Sarina Nihei’s Polka-Dot Boy (a French production animated by Nihei in Japan) and Akifumi Nonaka’s mekakure play in International Competition Programme 5: Into the Dark, available from 1 December at 8:00 pm till 3 December at the same time. Rentals include access to a now-archived livestream with Nihei, who was previously interviewed about Polka-Dot Boy for Cartoon Brew, and other directors.

Shoko Hara’s Just a Guy (a German production by the Japanese-born and German-raised animator) plays in International Competition Programme 6: Animated Documentaries, available from 2 December at 8:00 pm till 4 December at the same time. Just a Guy won the Grand Prix at Animafest Zagreb 2020, making it a potential Oscar contender, and Hara was interviewed about the short for Skwigly.

Kiyamamizuki’s Bath House of Whales (Kujira no yu) plays in Best of the Next Programme 1, available from 4 December at 6:00 pm till 6 December at the same time. Kiyama has worked as an animator and digital animator on Masaaki Yuasa’s TV series of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, and this latest of her own shorts won the Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award at Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film 2020.

Momo Takenoshita’s DOGHEAD plays in Late Night Bizarre, available from 4 December at 10:00 pm till 6 December at the same time.

Japanese creative duo TOCHKA’s video for UK musician Onoe Caponoe‘s track “The Message” plays in the festival’s Music Video Session, available from 5 December at 7:00 pm till 7 December at the same time. The same programme includes two videos by UK-based animators for Japanese musicians: Sivan Kidron’s for Kaho Nakamura’s ”Kittone!”, and Julian Gallese’s for Manami Kakudo’s “Lullaby”.

Finally, the winning shorts in each category (potentially including some of the above) will be announced and played again in full in the festival’s Closing Gala: The Best of the Fest, held at the Barbican and live-streamed online on 6 December at 5:25 pm, then available archived till 8th December at the same time.


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Written by Jordan Scott on 02 Dec 2020

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