The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival, taking place October 25 through November 3, is continuing festival director Yasushi Shiina’s work to bring more animation into the TIFF fold by presenting a retrospective on globally respected director Mamoru Hosoda. The event has previously honored Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, and Gundam master Yoshiyuki Tomino.
Hosoda has worked in animation for 20 years, but stepped into the international limelight in 2006 with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time — which won a slew of prizes, including the Japan Academy’s Animation of the Year award. This was followed by other critical triumphs, Summer Wars (2009) and Wolf Children (2012), and most recently 2015’s The Boy and the Beast, which was the year’s second-highest earning Japanese film.
Discussing the recurring theme of “family” in his work with The Japan Times, the director offered a taste of the insights visitors to TIFF can expect from the retrospective:
“The image of the ‘family’ is always changing, it’s not set in concrete … But all of us need to think about the important things that never change. Why do we need a family in the first place? Why does family make us feel like home, make us feel comforted? …. Most of all, I want to make my films to be enjoyable. So I turn a child into a wolf, a stepfather into a bear. Isn’t that more fun than human characters?”
TIFF’s “The World of Mamoru Hosoda” section will include films screened throughout the festival, a special screening of The Professionals: Mamoru Hosoda’s Job, and a talk held at Roppongi Academy Hills Auditorium 49F on Oct. 28. Learn more about this year’s festival at http://2016.tiff-jp.net/en.