-Darwin's Notebook" Wins Grand Prize at Hiroshima Animation Season Opener

Animation has returned to Hiroshima!

The first Hiroshima Animation Season took place last week, bringing to a close five days of film screenings, festivals, special guest lectures, and symposiums. The festival replaces the 35-year-old Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which will close in 2020.

This new event was led by a strong team from the Japanese independent animation community. The artistic directors were Koji Yamamura, a major figure in Japanese independent animation who has received critical acclaim for his Academy Award-nominated short films such as "Mt. Head", and Shizuka Miyazaki, an animator based in Hiroshima. Nobuaki Doi, who had been the director of the New Chitose International Animation Festival, served as producer.

In terms of international interest and participation, the first Hiroshima Animation Season was a great success, receiving approximately 2,150 submissions from 86 countries and regions. Ultimately, 54 films were selected for two competition categories: the Pan Pacific & Asia Competition and the World Competition.

The big winner of this year's animation season, "Darwin's Notebook" by Swiss animation icon Georges Schwizgebel, won the Grand Prix for the best film in both categories, as well as the " Adventure in Storytelling" Audience Award. The Grand Prix was chosen by directors Yamamura and Miyazaki.

Jun Wada's "The Bird of the Peninsula" proved to be the most popular Japanese film at this year's Berlin International Film Festival. Another jury member, Joe Shay, personally selected the Oscar-nominated short film "Bestia" by Hugo Covarrubias from Chile. And a third juror, Chris Robinson, artistic director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Cartoon Brew, selected "The Loach" by Chen Shih and Anne Hsu.

Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier's A Town Called Panic: The Summer Holidays won three awards at the closing ceremony: the "Spark: The Closing Ceremony for Children Audience Award, the "Hiroshima Choice" Award (given by people involved in culture and the arts in Hiroshima), and the "Hiroshima Animation City" Award (given by a non-profit organization that supports animation culture in Hiroshima City)


The Hiroshima Animation Season is held every other year, with the next one to be held in August 2024. The list of winners is as follows:

Grand Prix

Darwin's Notebook - Georges Schwizgebel (Switzerland)

Best Film

Los Huesos - Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña (Chile)

Jury's Choice: Florence Miailhe

"Bird in the Peninsula" - Jun Wada, Japan

Special Jury Prize: Chris Robinson

"The Douch" - Shi Chen, Xu An, China [31

Special Jury Prize: Joe Shay

Special Jury Prize: Johnny Hu

Special Jury Prize: Johnny Hu Joe Shay

Bestia - Hugo Covarrubias, Chile

Audience Award

[31 Bird in the Peninsula - Jun Wada (Japan)

Allegories Nowadays Audience Award

Skinned - Joachim Elisse (France)

A Slice of Society Audience Award

Precious - Paul Mas,

Adventure in Storytelling Audience Award

Darwin's Notebook - Georges Schwizgebel (Switzerland) [51] [52] Visual Poetry Audience Award [53] [54] Zoon - Jonathan Schwenk (Germany) [55 [56] The Spark:

Hiroshima Choice

A City Called Panic Summer Vacation - Vincent Patard, Stéphane Aubier, Belgium, France

Hiroshima Animation City

A City Called Panic Summer Vacation - Vincent Patard, Stéphane Aubier, Belgium, France

Upper Photo: "A City Called Panic: Summer Vacation", "Darwin's Handbook", "The Birds of the Peninsula"