17th Hiroshima International Animation Festival

The 17th International Animation Festival in Japan – Hiroshima 2018 is on!

The Festival, which features a competition, screenings, exhibitions, workshops and talk events, is being held from August 23 (Thursday) to 27 (Monday) at the JMS Aster Plaza, just south of Peace Memorial Park. Each day’s schedule is jam-packed, often with events running concurrently in Aster Plaza’s Grand, Medium, and Small Halls.

The Festival has been held every two years since 1985. With its theme of “love and peace,” the Festival aims to foster international cultural exchange and peace through the art of animation.

An international, five-member jury will be judging the competition, which will be screened Thursday through Sunday evenings. Seventy-five works were selected for the competition out of 2,842 entries from 88 countries and regions. Along with prizes awarded by the jury, attendees can vote for their favorite to receive the Audience Prize. The award ceremony will be held in the evening of the final day, 27 August.

The Red Turtle

This year’s Festival features screenings of works by the jury members — including Canadian Ishu Patel, Estonian Priit Pärn, and Russian Oxana Cherkasova — accompanied by talks or master classes from the jurors themselves. Other special programs include a Retrospective Screening and Talk from Festival Honorary President (and festival poster illustrator) Yoji Kuri, screenings of Hiroshima Festival prize-winner Michael Dudok de Wit’s feature animation The Red Turtle (on August 24 at 11:00) and short films. This time around, Estonian animation features heavily, with no less than 34 programs over the five-day Festival.

In This Corner Of The World

In addition to the competition and screenings of works that are, shall we say, not yet household names, the Festival will also screen Hiroshima’s favorite film In This Corner of the World (on August 23 at 09:00) and Studio Ghibli’s Pom Poko (on August 26 at 11:45), which was directed by the recently passed Isao Takahata.

Tickets can be reserved online or purchased at the door. For adults, door prices are ¥1200 for one programme, ¥3000 for a day pass, and ¥12,000 for the entire Festival. Student tickets are discounted, and children under 12 get in for free.


Annelise Giseburt

Annelise is a freelance reporter based in Tokyo.