Hiroshima International Animation Festival earns global respects. For its 18th festival, we were pleased to serve as the selection committee, and would like to extend our sincere gratitude to citizens of Hiroshima City, the Festival Organizing Committee, and to all those who are involved in animation field both in Japan and overseas for their support. Furthermore, we would like to express our appreciation to the original international selection committee members for kindly entrusting Japanese proxies to act on their behalf.
Although this year’s selection took place under a difficult situation which overlapped with COVID-19 pandemic, many powerful works submitted to the festival swept such hardship away from our minds. For nearly four weeks, being overwhelmed by the passion coming through these entries, we had been communicating with animation gathered from all around the world. The selection was conducted by the festival’s tradition “Hiroshima Method”, which withholds the name of the director as well as the production country from the selection committee. But we know how hard it is to make animation films. Therefore, we always sincerely faced the tasks of selection, thinking of the filmmakers through their works. As a result, 59 works were selected. These 59 works are the representatives of the 2,339 entries in total, that overcame our struggle of torn feelings between wanting to include more works and the time frame of competition programs.
Reflecting on the trends of this year’s submissions, there were numbers of outstanding films amongst those with a longer running time. On the other hand, there were many shorter films which surprised us and made us even feel jealous of such original ideas and their fresh perspectives. In terms of themes, what left us strong impression were, to name a few, ones bringing light to issues such as sexual abuse, ones dealing with sanctity of life or the view on life and death, and ones about fighting against tyranny of powers. We also found many works that featured animal characters, which were not simply cute but were depicted as a reflection of humanity.
Each and every work is inspiring, expressing LOVE & PEACE as well as the importance of freedom. We look forward to the day that we can share our excitement with you all.