It is a pleasure to be able to come back to Hiroshima.
When I visited Hiroshima before, I became a great fan of this wonderful city without realizing it. Seemingly, the life in Hiroshima is ordinary and has no difference from those in other cities in Japan, as if local people do not mind the past history of Hiroshima, and as if they do not want to make visitors feel sad. Thanks to their hospitality in Hiroshima, tourists could often loosen their wariness and almost forget how horrible thing actually happened in Hiroshima, how hideous memories hide behind beautiful appearances, shopping windows, cheerful smiles and loud sound of cicadas. And then, suddenly those visitors realize it by feeling the weakness of existence as well as the perseverance of life reflexively. It is impossible for us to ignore these feelings here in Hiroshima.
All the more reason, Mr. Renzo Kinoshita and Ms. Sayoko Kinoshita established a festival under the slogan of “Love and Peace” here in Hiroshima. However, were they able to assume the slogan could keep living such a long term at that time? They just kept chasing their dream and patiently committed themselves to making Japanese animators encounter with world-wide colleagues. Those encounters have contributed to the development of Japanese animation, have provided Japanese audiences opportunities to find splendid American, European and Asian animation, and have discovered unknown directors, who became very famous later. The public competition in Hiroshima has become one of the events which attracts the most attention from the world of animation. Even after Renzo passed away, the festival keeps going on for many years. The festival has made great development owing to the great efforts made by the Festival Director Sayoko and the festival staff members as well as a great support from Hiroshima city. The Hiroshima International Animation Festival has become one of the symbols of the city and has continuously been faithful to creative ideas which unite people, to creators’ freedom and responsibility and to the wishes for peace behind the establishment of this festival. Hiroshima has become a hub which attracts young creators of animation as well as great masters, and their dialogues are important and essential for us. Please join me to appreciate the great effort made by organizers and operation team of the festival, because they have committed themselves to let us bring the heartwarming hospitality and the joy of mutual understanding back home from Hiroshima.
I believe the memory in Hiroshima will stay in the heart of all of us.
Wishing you all good fortune and happiness.
International Honorary President
Alexander Petrov (Russia)
Artist, Director, Animator, Scriptwriter
Alexander Petrov was born in Yaroslavl in 1957. He graduated from Yaroslavl Art School in 1976, and also from the All-Russian State University of Cinematography, School of “Animation Film Artist” in 1982. He worked as an art director at “Armenfilm”, a film-production studio in Yerevan, from 1981 to 1982, then at Sverdlovsk Film Studio from 1982 to 1986. In 1989, he finished the Higher Courses of Scriptwriter and Director, majoring in Animation Film Director.
He directed his own early films at Sverdlovsk Film Studio. He moved to Yaroslavl in 1992, where he opened his film studio “Panorama” in 1995 and established a social organization “Alexander Petrov Studio” in 2001. Petrov has been operating both studios till today. He was in Montreal from 1996 to 1999 to create the Oscar-winning film, “The Old Man and the Sea”. He mainly uses the “Paint on Glass Technique” to create animation.