Hiroshima Animation Season Unveils Special Award Winners, Jury & Trailer for Debut Edition

The new international animation festival Hiroshima Animation Season (August 17-21 | animation.hiroshimafest.org), which, as a rebirth of the biennial Hiroshima International Animation Festival, will be held for the first time this summer at JMS Aster Plaza and other venues in Hiroshima City, will offer various programs based on the three sections of Competition, Award and Academy.

This week, festival organizers announced a brand-new award, the Golden Carpster, named for the part-carp, part-twinkling star mascot created for the festival by co-artistic director Koji Yamamura. This award will be presented to individuals, groups or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the field of animation in the Pan-Pacific and Asia region in the two-year period from 2020 to 2021, based on more than 60 pages of  research by more than 20 national and international experts.

For this first edition, the following six individuals or groups were selected as winners:

Kristine Belson
Kristine Belson [photo: Michael Lewis | at SPA, April 2019]
Kristine Belson (President, Features & Series, Sony Pictures Animation / U.S.)
For introducing a new visual style in Hollywood animation with Academy Award winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Academy Award nominee The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

Joe Hsieh (Animation Director / Taiwan)
For his pursuit of the horror/suspense genre, which is rare in animation, and which came to fruition in the animated short Night Bus, which won many awards including the Grand Prix in the Short Film Competition at Animafest Zagreb.

Mizushiri Yoriko
Mizushiri Yoriko

Yoriko Mizushiri (Animation Director / Japan)
For showing a new path for the activities for animation artists in Japan through her recent projects like her VR animation Otawamure and her short animation Anxious Body.

Science SARU (Production Studio / Japan)
For its world-wide success with Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! and a new take on telling a history in Inu-oh and The Tale of the Heike.

Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) (Production Studio, Festival Management, etc. / Iran)
For its continuous support of animation expression in Iran for over 30 years including the production of The Fourth Wall (directed by Mahboobeh Kalaee), which won numerous awards worldwide, including the Grand Prix in the Animation Division of the Japan Media Arts Festival this year.

Feinaki: Beijing Animation Week (Animation Event / China)
For connecting the Chinese animation world with the international scene and bringing diversity to the ecosystem of expression through the organization of international animation events and active and steady screening activities.

The award ceremony for Golden Carpstar will be held during the Hiroshima Animation Season 2022 Opening Ceremony on August 17. Related programs will also be held during the festival to celebrate the award winners.

Florence Miailhe | Chris Robinson | Joe Hsieh

Organizers also announced the international jury members for Pan-Pacific and Asia Competition of the Mitsui Fudosan Realty Chugoku Presents: Hiroshima Animation Season 2022 Competition, which received 2,149 entries from 86 countries and regions between January 7 and February 28 of this year. The regional completition will be complemented by a World Competition, with five categories for each genre. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the end of the festival (Aug. 21). The APAC jury is:

  • Florence Miailhe (Animation Director/France), a master of oil painting animation whose first feature animation The Crossing won the Jury Distinction at last year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
  • Chris Robinson (Author / Canada), Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the largest animation festival in North America, and author of many books on independent animation.
  • And 2022 Golden Carpstar winner Joe Hsieh (Animation Director / Taiwan).

The previously announced jury of the World Competition conducted a
meeting prior to the festival, deciding the Category Awards and the Juryʼs Personal Pick Awards. Audience Awards will be determined during the festival. Winners are, by category:


“Allegories Nowadays” (for fiction-based films)
Category Award: Skinned (Joachim Hérissé/France)
Arthur Binard Award: Confessions of an English Ant-Eater (Alex Crumbie/United Kingdom)
Hiroko Sebu Award: In the Mountains (Wally Chung/United States)
Shizuka Miyazaki Award: Prince in a Pastry Shop (Katarzyna Agopsowicz/Poland)

Salvia at Nine
Salvia at Nine

“A Slice of Society” (for animated documentaries and films about social issues)
Category Award: Salvia at Nine (Jang Nari/Korea)
Kiki Sugino Award: The House of Loss (Jinkyu Jeon /Japan, Korea)
Asako Fujioka Award: All Those Sensations in My Belly (Marko Dješka/Croatia)
Honami Yano Award: Mom, Whatʼs Up with the Dog? (Lola Lefevre/France)

Darwin's Notebook
Darwin’s Notebook

“Adventure in Storytelling” (for films with a unique narrative)
Category Award: Darwinʼs Notebook (Georges Schwizgebel/Switzerland)
Min Tanaka Award: The Blind Writer (Georges Sifianos/Greece)
Yuki Harada Award: My Father’s Damn Camera (Milos Tomic/Slovenia)
Sarina Nihei Award: In the Big Yard Inside the Teeny-weeny Pocket (Yoko Yuki/Japan)


“Visual Poetry” (for poetic films)
Category Award: Archipel (Felix Dufour-Laperriere/Canada)
Ma Jung-Yeon Award: Intermission (Réka Bucsi/Hungary)
Daito Manabe Award: Clockwise (Toni Mitjanit/Spain)
Koji Yamamura Award: Zoon (Jonatan Schwenk/Germany)

A Town Called Panic
A Town Called Panic: The Summer Holidays

“The Spark: Films for Children”
Category Award: A Town Called Panic: The Summer Holidays (Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier/France, Belgium)
Kotobuki Shiriagari Award: Spinning (Tzu-Hsin Yang [Cindy Yang]/Taiwan)
Yukiko Hiromatsu Award: Miranda! – El arte de enamorarte (Dante Zaballa/Argentina)
Ryutaro Miyajima Award: In Nature (Marcel Barelli/Switzerland)

The winning films in both Competitions (Jury Award and Audience Award) will be eligible for the Grand Prix, which will be selected by the festival’s two artistic directors, Koji Yamamura and Shizuka Miyazaki.

In addition, a trailer for the first edition of the Hiroshima Animation Season 2022 is now ready. Koji Yamamura, Shizuka Miyazaki (both artistic directors of the festival), Honami Yano, Ryutaro Miyajima (both members of the festival selection committee), Mahboobeh Kalaee, Nata Metlukh and Sakura Koretsune (three invited artists of the festivalʼs residence program: H-AIR Hiroshima Artists-in-Residence) performed together in a relay animation based on the festival mascot, Carpster. The music is by Hitomi Shimizu, who is well-known for creating music for Yamamura’s films. The signal piece is the embodiment of “a film festival created by everyone.”



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