2008 Animation Festival

For those who complain that Hiroshima lacks major events and culture, this is something not to be missed. The festival not only provides a great chance to see some of the world’s best animation, but the intimate atmosphere means it’s also a great opportunity to meet and chat with the people who make the films. It’s also a great way to escape the heat! The Japanese animation directors got top honors this year with some spectacular films, but there was a lot of other great shows to be seen at this year’s festival.

Hiroshima International Animation Festival Awards this year (2008)

Sofie Ivan Andersen plucks her top ten moments of the 2008 Hiroshima Animation Festival from memory.

10. The opening night party. 
Although I will remember this with shame as I was way too intimidated to speak to hardly anyone. Even my fellow Nordics the Finns. Batsu!

9. The Peace Ceremony the night before.
Preparing for a five-day animation extravaganza after that sombre night was something of a discordant experience.

8. Guy in first row sleeping VERY LOUDLY through Paul Driessen’s retrospective.
His snoring totally disturbed my circles.

7. Guy in first row guffawing his way through the camp moments in Cinderella.
See a pattern here? If you’re not that bothered, don’t sit in the first row!

6. Pixar guy Doug Sweetland’s improvised sound effects during his presentation.
I want a Sweetland alarm clock.

5. Sharing a look of happy surprise with Pixar guy Jay Ward after earnest Israeli director Ariel Belinco revealed that he’s much rather make Pixar-style films.
But then again, who wouldn’t.

4. Dreaming I work for Pixar.
Every night.

3. Realising that Nemo, the most adorable character ever, is disabled. 
Pixar are great, but I didn’t realise they were transgressive. What’s that, there is animation that isn’t Pixar?

2. Seeing a bunch of world-renowned animators arrive back from an excursion to Miyajima.
All lobster-coloured and touristy.

1. Getting to watch tons of short and long, new and old, obscure and famous films for days on end.
Who needs a job, or even a life? Hey can I have my festival back?



Writing about Hiroshima for over twenty years. Co-founded GetHiroshima in 1999 and founded the sustainability-focused InboundAmbassador business in 2019. Monthly CleanUp and Seeking Sustainability event organizer, guide workshop facilitator, online content creator and tourism destination consultant. Passionate about promoting solutions in Japan for people and the planet.