Animation as Lesson in Patience, Focus & Dedication

Another amazing day of insights from artists, directors and story-tellers on how they pursue and find inspiration to create their films.

Wiola Sowa’s (mature audience) XOXO hugs and kisses may have made some of us a bit uncomfortable during the competition screening as the main three characters were completely nude during this entire hand-drawn film. Sowa explained the concept behind her film as well as explained the difficulties of hand-drawn animation of the character with the long, flowing hair. Sowa says she loves coming to Japan and Hiroshima and feels her art and design has been inspired by Ukiyo-e prints as well as dance performances. About her story, she discussed how even at intimate skin-level, it is still difficult to create meaningful relationships with one another.

XOXO pocałunki i uściski/XOXO hugs and kisses/ trailer from Wiola Sowa on Vimeo.

Listening to the lecture by Ishu Patel about how he made his animated films by moving beads or clay around a frame inch by inch for 7 hours a day for his stop-motion masterpieces, gives you an idea of how dedicated, focused and patient the animators at the Hiroshima animation festival have to be to arrive at this point in their careers.

In Ishu Patel’s Paradise, a tale of how “outer beauty attracts but inner beauty captivates the mind and spirit” the director explained how he made the glowing palace by pushing holes through black paper and shining light from underneath. The work was done with a small team of animators over a three year period.

Simon Feat, an animator from Paris who has a degree in Physics talked of his beautiful film of blended landscapes, Passage as being inspired by European painters such as Felix Ziem as well as Japanese artists such as Miroko Machiko. During his study-abroad program in Tokyo he felt inspired by the rhythms of Japan and has been told that his film has a “Japanese sense in relation to timing.”

Director of Passage

Philip Louis Piaget Rodriguez talked of his mixed media film Reverie. Which he described as an isolated person trying to face death of a loved one and learning to let go. Originally from Mexico city, Rodriguez says there are many superstitions and subtle religious imagery in the film signifying transcending life.

Trailer: Reverie from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.

Sound designer

Moth Studio’s Sound Designer Ally Mobbs talked a little about the film, Conan O’Brien Discusses “We’re Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes which was commissioned by Jack White’s record label. As a sound designer I asked if any sounds interested him in Japan and he said he loves the sounds of the old trams (street-cars) in Hiroshima, the shop jingles and all the sounds around. He’s enjoying taking his recording device around many locations to capture these unique recordings.

2017 Motion Awards > Visual Essay > Commercial: Conan O'Brien – The White Stripes from The Motion Awards on Vimeo.

There were so many wonderful films to see and so many interesting animators, designers and artists to talk with once again. Appreciate all the hard work that goes into bringing all of this work and the wonderful artists who made it to Hiroshima for such a wonderful event.

The winners of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival competition will be announced tonight (August 27 at 6pm) and the winning films will be screened after the presentation.


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.

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