With anime receiving more coverage in cinemas in the past couple of years, a new festival has appeared to help showcase more offerings for both fans and newcomers.
Introducing the Anime Film Festival, dedicated to offering modern anime classics such as Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name and Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai to the cinema once again. The festival has partnered with Picturehouse cinemas to showcase their first line-up of titles.
All films will be presented in the original Japanese audio with English subtitles on Saturday 7th September 2019 at the Picturehouse Central, located in London’s West End (W1D 7DH postcode).
Each film will be available to purchase tickets on their own, a double bill or all together with a season pass on their official website. Each film’s tickets can be purchased individually on Picturehouse, links are provided in the line-up below.
Their festival line-up includes the following:
Mirai (PG): 2.20pm
From acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, Summer Wars) comes Mirai, a daringly original story of the importance of family across generations, and the first non-Studio Ghibli anime film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
When four-year-old Kun meets his new baby sister, his world is turned upside down. Named Mirai (meaning “future”), the baby quickly wins the hearts of Kun’s entire family as he becomes increasingly jealous… until one day he storms off into the garden, where he encounters his sister as a teenager who has travelled through time! Together, Kun and teenaged Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family’s incredible story. But why did Mirai come from the future in the first place?
Penguin Highway (12): 4.30pm
A recently-made hidden gem, this off-kilter coming-of-age story is based on the best-selling novel by Tomohiko Morimi, author of Night is Short, Walk on Girl and The Tatami Galaxy, and is the feature film debut by a rising star of the anime world, Hiroyasu Ishida.
Budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he discovers a link between the source of the penguins and a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!
Your Name. (12): 7.00pm
Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives until they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This occurrence happens randomly, and they must adjust their lives around each other. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?
From director Makoto Shinkai comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls. When it was released in 2016, this film became the highest grossing anime film of all time and received numerous awards and accolades.
Redline (15): 9.15pm
Every five years an exhilarating race called Redline is held, the universe’s most anticipated competition. Racers are pushed to their absolute limit, while organized crime and militaristic governments want to leverage the race for their own ends. Amongst the elite rival drivers in the tournament, JP falls for the alluring Sonoshee – but will she prove his undoing, or can a high speed romance survive a mass destruction race?
Produced by the acclaimed studio Madhouse (Death Note, Paprika, Overlord) and directed by Takeshi Koike, Redline took seven years and over 100,000 hand-drawn frames to make. Having never received a wide cinema release in the UK, join us for an incredibly rare chance to see this masterpiece of animation on the big screen!
Anime Film Festival was organised by Reuben Ramanah, with marketing specialist Harry Bunnell. The duo has known each other for almost 20 years and had recently organised the 2018 edition of the Bicycle Film Festival. To celebrate the announcement of the festival, Reuben had this to say:
“I wanted to put on this festival to celebrate all that anime has to offer, and give it the platform it deserves. I have been captivated with Japanese culture ever since seeing Akira as a teenager, and I would love to give as many people as possible the chance to enjoy these amazing films on the big screen. Anime is a unique art form that has been hugely influential to western film, and it does what all good films should; tell captivating stories which take you to another place, and keep you mesmerised and glued to the screen.
The films chosen for this first Anime Film Festival are a mix of recent classics and genre-defining films that I know all audiences will enjoy but some may not have come across. There are countless, incredible anime that have never been shown in UK cinemas so I hope the Festival will make new anime fans and demonstrate the variety within this fascinating artform.”
About Anime Film Festival
Anime Film Festival was created by Reuben Ramanah, an avid anime fan who has long felt that, despite its strong following in the UK, anime is rarely given the spotlight it deserves in cinemas here. Working with a team of close friends adept in digital marketing and partnering with Picturehouse cinemas, an exciting festival has been created that has already received the backing of Manga UK and Anime Limited as well as creative support from YouTuber Beyond Ghibli and Picnic Animation Studio.
Source: Press Release provided by Anime Film Festival