September 30, 2008
Singapore – The Singapore Film Society (SFS), with the backing of the Media Development Authority of Singapore, will present Animation Nation 2008 from 24 October to 2 November 2008. The festival will feature more than 50 films, both features and shorts, from more than 10 countries. Animation Nation’s aim is to expose audiences to animations of all types, showcasing the best of what the animation world has to offer. This year’s programme includes a showcase of films from Aardman Animation Studios. The opening film is The Piano Forest, a Japanese animated feature film by director Makoto Isshiki and the production company Madhouse. Based on the manga by Isshiki, the film was adapted into a full-length animation. This animated feature was also nominated for the 2008 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, as well as the Theatrical Film category at the 2008 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The event also aims to boost the skill of animators by organising seminars and workshops conducted by world-renowned animators. David Sproxton, co-founder of Aardman, as well as Luis Cook, director of the award-winning short The Pearce Sisters, have been invited to attend and discuss their films after the screening. Also scheduled to give a seminar is independent animator Nina Paley, director of the award-winning Sita Sings the Blues. Paley worked on the film on her own, imbibing the story of Sita and Rama with her own personal experience. Another director in attendance will be famed Japanese independent animator Koji Yamamura, who will give a talk about his latest film based on Franz Kafka’s The Country Doctor. Animation Nation will also feature a retrospective of his significant works. Also invited is director Shuhei Morita of Freedom Project along with producer Hideo Matsushita to present a seminar on where Japanese animation is headed. Screenings will be held at Fusionopolis, National Museum of Singapore, Alliance Française de Singapour and library@esplanade.