Call for Entries - 15th Japan Media Arts Festival: Application period July 15 - September 22
Wednesday July 13th 2011, 6:56 am
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This is the 15th year since the Japan Media Arts Festival was first held in 1997. The festival is organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, with the aim of promoting the creation and development of media arts (comics, animation, game and media art).

The call is for entries in four divisions, Art, Entertainment, Animation and Manga, and is open to entries from anywhere in the world. The Agency will award a Grand Prize and a number of other awards at the festival, and the winning works will also be exhibited.

Last year saw 1951 entries from Japan and 694 from elsewhere (48 countries and regions) and more than 70,000 visitors attended the exhibition of award-winning works. The festival has grown into an event that attracts wide attention both in Japan and around the world.

The application period has now been officially set.
Applications for entry will be accepted from Friday, July 15th, through Thursday, September 22nd, 2011.
After entries are judged, an exhibition of award-winning works will be held at the National Art Center, Tokyo from, Wednesday, February 22nd through, Sunday, March 4th, 2012.

In addition, a Japan Media Arts Festival exhibition is held outside Japan every year to promote the dissemination of Japans media arts (comics, animation, game, and media art). Since this year is the 150th anniversary of German-Japan exchanges, the festival will be held from Friday, September 9th, through Sunday, October 2nd at Dortmund U.
This event will be called the Dortmund Exhibition 2011 of the Japan Media Arts Festival and details will be announced in due course.

■ Entry Divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animation, Manga

  • Art Division

Artwork created with computers or other electronic devices.

Interactive art, media installations, video works, digital photographs, graphic art, website works, etc.

  • Entertainment Division

Entertainment created with computers or other electronic devices.

Games (including web games and social network games), video works (music videos, publicity films including TV commercials, digital special effects videos), toys (including figures), character merchandise, website works (including advertisements, etc.), application software, etc.

  • Animation Division

Theatrical animation, TV animation, independent animation, animated short films, etc.

  • Manga Division

Manga published in book form, in magazines (including works still being serialized), produced independently and in small private magazines, on websites (PC/mobile), etc.

■ Awards

For each division, one Grand Prize, four Excellence Awards and three New Face Awards will be awarded on the basis of artistic quality and creativity. In addition, a Special Achievement Award will be awarded on the recommendation of the jury to a person having made a special contribution to media art in four specified divisions.

Grand Prize:Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 600,000 Japanese Yen

Excellence Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 300,000 Japanese Yen

New Face Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 200,000 Japanese Yen

Special Achievement Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Trophy

Jury Selection Works considered to have special merit will be exhibited or screened along with the award-winning works at international media art and film festivals in Japan and abroad.

■ Judge, Announcement of Results

October through November: Jury judge

December:1. Notification of winners

2. Announcement of Results on the Japan Media Arts Festival website and in the mass media
(TV, newspapers, magazines)

■ Awards Ceremony: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Tokyo Midtown

■ Exhibition of Award-winning Works: Wednesday, February 22 through Sunday, March 4, 2012 The National Art Center,Tokyo

■ What is the Japan Media Arts Festival?

The Agency for Cultural Affairs has been organizing the Japan Media Arts Festival annually since 1997 with the aim of promoting the creation and development of the media arts. The Japan Media Arts Festival makes awards for outstanding creative works in the divisions of Arts, Entertainment, Animation and Manga, and provides opportunities to introduce these works through the award announcement, ceremony, and exhibition of the award-winning works.

In addition, the award-winning works will be entered and exhibited in media arts-related festivals and animated film festivals in Japan and overseas. In 2010, the festival’s award-winning works were also exhibited at 17 events in Japan, including the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Okinawa Film Festival and Sapporo International Short Motion Picture Festival, as well as 23 events overseas including the Japan Expo in France, ISEA in Germany and Ars Electronica in Austria.

The website for the festival is:

You can download a pdf Application guide at:

Sunday July 03rd 2011, 5:12 am
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ADAC banner.jpg
ADAC banner.jpg

I am a big fan of Estonian animation and the Animated Dreams Animation Festival in Tallinn.  Now the festival has launched a new project, AnimaCampus Tallinn, which sounds like it is going to be a wonderful opportunity for young animators.  Even if you can’t attend do take a minute to read about what they are planning for their first edition.


November 15-19, 2011 / Tallinn, Estonia


Deadline for application: August 1, 2011.

AnimaCampus Tallinn is a brand new networking platform and training event for up-and-coming young filmmakers working in the field of animation. The five-day creative summit takes place in parallel with the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams, the sub-festival of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

In the frame of several lectures, presentations, discussions, screenings and workshops international animation experts share their experience in making cinéma d’auteur animation films as well as commercial productions. A mix of animation art and industry. A mix of traditional animation techniques and new media technologies. AnimaCampus Tallinn provides young professionals from East and West the opportunity to learn from top animation experts and build international networks in the inspiring European Capital of Culture atmosphere.


The programme of AnimaCampus Tallinn consists of the following activities:

Inspiration talks:

•     Lectures, presentations and panel discussions to address the breaking issues in the animation history and today. * Open to all participants, guests and public.

Hands-on trainings:

•     Practical workshops, case studies and meeting-the-expert sessions in different fields of work promoting direct interaction between young and experienced professionals. * Open to participants and guests.

Mentoring and guidance:

•     Specialized master classes. * Open only to participants.

•     Individual project consultations. * Open only to participants.

Networking and entertainment:

•     Film screenings at the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams.

•     Excursions to Estonian animation studios and Museum of Puppets.

•     Match-making sessions.

•     Social events and concerts in the evenings.


In 2011 AnimaCampus Tallinn is setting its focus on the following regions: Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland), Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), South Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). Emerging animation filmmakers from the above mentioned countries are eligible to apply through the open call for entries. However, motivated applicants from the other European countries wishing to explore the animation scene in those regions are also encouraged to send their application.


·         Young animation professionals or advanced students (age up to 35), who are fluent in English.

·         Filmmakers with different professional backgrounds are welcome to apply. It doesn’t matter whether you are a director, producer, animator, sound designer, scriptwriter, cinematographer, production designer, effects designer or multi-talented visual artist – if animation is your passion, you are eligible to apply!



The application consists of two parts:

1) Register and fill in the online application form at:

2) Submit the following materials by regular post:

·   CV & filmography (max 1 page / on CD)

·   Personal motivation letter (max 1 page / on CD)

·   Photo of the applicant (on CD)

·   Sample of work (approx 3 minutes / on DVD).

The work sample can be a short film, excerpt or series of clips from previous work. Please state clearly in the beginning of the clip, which was your input to the chosen piece of work.

Materials should be sent to:

AnimaCampus Tallinn 2011

Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams

Telliskivi 60A

10412 Tallinn


All the application materials must be submitted in English.

The deadline for a complete application is August 1, 2011 (postmark date).


Participation fee is 100€ for students and 150€ for young professionals.

AnimaCampus Tallinn offers 75 selected participants Part Scholarship covering the accommodation and meals. The rest of participants have to cover the costs of accommodation and meals themselves.

A limited number of participants receive Full Scholarship covering the participation fee, accommodation and meals. Applicants with limited financial means and/or from South Caucasus and Central Asia are preferred in this case. To apply for Full Scholarship, please fill in the appropriate field on the online application form and explain shortly in your motivation letter the reason you believe you are eligible.

AnimaCampus Tallinn does not cover travel expenses for the participants.


AnimaCampus Tallinn organisers in co-operation with regional partners will select participants based on their application and work example. The final selection will be made by the end of August and published on AnimaCampus website. All the applicants will be notified by e-mail.


Representatives of animation industry, festivals and schools can apply for Guest Accreditation, which gives the access to AnimaCampus public events as well as the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams screenings. Accreditation forms will be available in September.


All the AnimaCampus applicants can also submit their recently finished animated short films to Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams. Please see the rules and application details at:

For further information please contact:


Tuesday May 17th 2011, 11:46 am
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My friend Angela Poschet is coming to Annecy with a mission.

She is working as scheduler on Tim Burton’s stop-frame feature Frankenweenie, currently being shot in London, UK.  They are looking for experienced stop-motion animators.

Angela and Supervising Animator Mark Waring will have a recruiting session at Annecy on Friday 10 June from 12 noon until 3 PM at the Creative Focus Events Area.

To arrange an interview e-mail or call the contact person, PA Roxanne Donovan before or during Annecy at:

e-mail:  Mobil:    +44 796 109 01 59

The 24-Hour Animation Day Call For Entry
Saturday April 30th 2011, 9:38 am
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Based on the principle of the 24 Hour Comic Strip Day initiated by Scott McCloud, this year Atelier Zorobabel will organize the 24 Hour  Animation Day, in partnership with L’Employe du Moi, Grandppapier, Radio Campus, Nova Cinema, and Periscopayes Festival.   You can work on line and send your work at the end of the weekend so everyone can participate no matter where you live in the world.

The event will take place in Brussels, Rennes, Montreal, and all over the world on May 21st and 22nd 2011 at the same time as the Brussels 24 Hour Comic Strip Day.  The principle is simple:  making 24 seconds of animation (credits included) in 24 hours around a theme that will be unveiled at the beginning of the 24 hours.

All of these works (animated and comic strip) will be screened during an evening organized by the Nova Cinema in Brussels on the 26th of May.  You will find the entry form at:

If you have questions you can contact Atelier Zorobabel at:


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - Anifest ROZAFA 2011 — a Festival By and For Children
Saturday April 30th 2011, 5:31 am
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The second edition of Anifest ROZAFA in Shikodra, Albania will take place 12 – 18 September 2011.  The festival invites animators of all ages to submit films to this festival By Children and For Children.

Along with the International Competition, the festival conducts seminars and workshops. In the 2010 workshop group, the children made a two minute animation titled “To Face the Consequences”.

The festival has a hard and fast rule that any film that violates human rights, especially children’s, as defined by the Convention of Human Rights or Convention of Children’s Rights will not be accepted.

Films must have been completed after 1 January 2008 and be no longer than 30 minutes.

You are required to include an English language dialogue with your entry form and DVD.  Please include photos from your film.

The festival stresses that it is very important that you print on the front of the envelope FOR CULTURAL USE ONLY- NO COMMERCIAL USE.

You can read all festival rules and regulations and down load an entry form on the Aniifest ROZAFA website:

If you have additional questions you can contact the festival General Director Artan Maku at:

The festival is waiting to welcome you and your film to historic Shikodra, a city rich in legends and monuments.

Thursday April 28th 2011, 7:17 am
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Last year the Fantoche Animation Festival in Baden, Switzerland issued a “Call for Projects: Swiss Games”.  The “Let’s Play Together” project resulted in the creation of thirty-six new Swiss computer games.  The project guidelines stressed innovation, artistic merit, and an international standard.  The demands on the Swiss games developers were very high and the required level of professionalism was exacting.

The four project partners, Fantoche, The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Federal Office for Culture, and the SUISA Foundation for Music have expressed delight with the enthusiastic participation again this year.  The submitted prototypes have now been sent on to the next level and at the beginning of May the International Jury will meet to appraise, discuss, and make a decision.

The jury has a total of 300,000 CHF to award with a maximum of 50,000 CHF per project.  The SUISA Foundation for Music is providing an additional 15,000 CHF for the best original sound composition.

The competition is open to all Swiss Game Designers living anywhere in the world as well as to permanent Swiss residents.  If you meet this requirement and want to find out about participating in the next  competition you can read all of the rules and regulations at:

The awards will be presented at the next Fantoche Festival which will be held 6 to 11 September 2011.  You can visit the festival website at:

Sita Sings the Blues Comes to the Big Screen – At Last!
Tuesday April 21st 2009, 5:18 am
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from Sita Sings the Blues
from Sita Sings the Blues

For those of you who have only seen Sita Sings the Blues on your computer or from a DVD you have missed half of the experience.  It really deserves to be seen in all its glory on a big screen with a good sound system to appreciate what a tour de force Nina Paley has accomplished almost singlehandedly.

For those who have never had the opportunity to see that Nina calls “the Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told” this is about to be rectified in some cities.

If you live in the Bay Area you are in for a double treat because you can see a great film while supporting a wonderful neighborhood theatre that still believes in screening independent films and isn’t afraid to program films that other cinema won’t touch because they are not blockbusters.

I’m not going to write about the film’s story line because I (along with many other writers) have already written so many words about it.  If you are unfamiliar with the film and Nina’s long battle to gain the rights to use some of the songs as sung by 1920’s jazz vocalist Annette Hanshaw visit her web site:

The story behind the making of the film is almost as exciting as the animated film itself.

On a personal note, Nik and Nina have collaborated on several films and Nik contributed music for Sita Sings the Blues.  Nik and I also have a very warm spot in our hearts for the Red Vic since we performed there regularly when we lived in San Francisco.  One of the things that I really miss from the Bay Area is the Red Vic’s popcorn.  Take it from me, as a true popcorn aficionado; they have some of the best popcorn that I have even eaten in a theatre!

SITA SINGS the Blues will screen at the Red Vic for 5 days:

May 8th through the 12

Show Times:   7:15, 9:15; also Saturday and Sunday 2:00 and 4:00

Tickets:    Advance tickets available via

Regular admission $9; Tuesday evenings and 2PM Matinee $6,  Seniors (62 and older_ and children (12 and younger)  $6  at all times


1727 Haight Street (between Cole and Shrader)              San Francisco, California  94117

GETTING THERE IS EASY:  The Red Vic is served directly by Muni Routes 7, 33, 37, 43 and 71.  Muni Routes 6 and N Judah come within a few blocks


Columbus, Ohio – April 17 – 23 – Drexel Theater

Chicago, Illinois – May 1 – 7 – Gene Siskel Film Center

Portland, Oregon – May 8, 9, 12-15, 18, 21 and 22 – Van City Theater

Wilmington, Delaware – May 15 – 17 – Theatre N at Nemours

Lake Worth, Florida – May 15 – 21 – Lake Worth Playhouse

Boston, Massachusetts – June 12-14 – Brattle Theater

Notre Dame, Indiana – July 23-25 – DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Friendly Fire
Wednesday November 12th 2008, 7:29 am
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I am back from Xiamen, China and am still trying to process the amazing experience.  I will be writing about my trip soon but in the meantime this weekend Nik and I will travel to Berlin for the premier of the new animated film Friendly Fire.  Nik composed and performed the music for the film and we are very honored and proud to be part of this project.  I hope that you will visit the website listed at the bottom of the article to learn more about the production and that you will have the opportunity to view the film at a festival soon.

14th October 2008

Filmmaker Andy Kaiser at work
Filmmaker Andy Kaiser at work

Brand new studio The End of the Pier Films will be premiering their first production on Sunday November 16th at a private screening for crew at the Babylon Kino in Berlin.

Friendly Fire is a 7 and a half minute stopmotion film written and directed by Andy Kaiser.  It tells the story of one soldier’s temporary release from the horror and destruction of the First World War.

The film was written in 2001 while Andy was directing ‘Celebrity Deathmatch’ for MTV, but shooting didn’t start for another 4 years because the independent project repeatedly had to be shelved in favour of paying commissions.  Principle animation on Friendly Fire finally began in Berlin in March 2008, and it was a unique and challenging shooting experience for everyone involved.

Andy’s goal with Friendly Fire was to create a film without once resorting to a digital process, to make a film using technology pioneered by Ray Harryhausen and Fritz Lehmann and to see how far it can be pushed.  Every effect in Friendly Fire was achieved in-camera, without the option of touching up or rig-removal in post.  This created a myriad of challenges, not least because the age of the techniques used meant that there was a very limited resource of information and advice available.  Every shot had to be invented from scratch, using techniques such as front projection, high-speed (a floor-shattering 2000fps), multi-layered rostrum work, live action and matting.

Friendly Fire action shot
Friendly Fire action shot

The shoot ended in June 2008 and post production started immediately, running until October 2008.  Because of the in-camera effects, there was very little visual post production to complete besides optical grading, however the audio post became a dance between several European cities - the music was written in Gent, the foley recorded in Munich, the sound design produced in Dusseldorf and Cologne and the Dolby Digital mixing finally brought the production through London and back to Berlin.

Friendly Fire is a contemporary example of a film with its roots in the golden age of cinema, and it was made partly in homage to the early pioneers of special effects, but also as an experiment to see if a film made with technology from a bygone age can stand amongst the digital productions of today.

For more Information please write to or


ANIMART ’08 in Monodendri, Ioannina, Greece
Sunday July 06th 2008, 1:37 am
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The 2nd ANIMART, a summer meeting about animation and related arts, will be held 13 through 20 July in Monodendri, near Ioannina, Greece. 2008 is the Year of Intercultural Dialogue and so workshops and programs will be presented by many leading professionals from around the world.

Workshops will include clay animation conducted by Rony Oren from Israel; animator and ex libris creator extraordinaire Rastko Ciric of Serbia will lead the Cartoon Animation workshop and Portugal’s Fernando Galrito will lead participants through “The Draw and the Pixilation”.

Mohamed Ghazala of Egypt will give us a glimpse into Egyptian and African animation, and Nik and I will talk about the history of music through animation. Nik and Rastko will reprise their musical act in the amphitheatre with a moonlight concert featuring what else? - Moon songs!

The 8 days will be packed with all of this and much more including a live music performance to a classic Greece Silent movie, also in the amphitheatre.

If you need an excuse to come to Greece (and who would ever really need an excuse) ANIMART is it. For more information you can visit their wed site or you can contact them by e-mail at:

Animart 2008
Animart 2008

Sita Sings the Blues
Monday April 28th 2008, 4:10 am
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Nik and I have always followed Nina Paley’s animation career with delight and amazement. Her new feature length film SITA SINGS THE BLUES is indeed a crowning achievement and Nik is very honored and pleased to be a small part of it by creating some music for the film.

Sita and Rama, from Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues
Sita and Rama, from Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues

Be sure to visit this link to self interview that Nina created for the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s entertaining, funny and shows what ingenuity animators have when it comes to promoting their work. You may also recognize the music. ENJOY!!!
You can visit Nina’s website at for more of her ongoing adventures, and see more information on Sita Sings the Blues at
You can visit Nik’s website at
Rama and his army, from Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues
Rama and his army, from Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues