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[Annecy '19] Anime At Annecy: Studio Ponoc, 'Ghost In The Shell' and More

This year's Annecy International Animation Festival's Offical Guest Country is Japan. There's been a lot of screenings of animated films from the land of the rising sun, and there's also been some exciting news of upcoming anime.

Studio Ponoc were there to screen their latest film Modest Heroes. They also made a surprise announcement- they have been commissioned to make a short of films for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The short is intended by the International Olympic Committee to "express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect from a different aesthetic and narrative perspective."

Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage said:

As the Tokyo 2020 Games approach, we wanted to explore animation as a creative vehicle to express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect from a different aesthetic and narrative perspective. With a focus on universal topics relevant to humanity, this hand-drawn film will not only contribute to the excitement in the build up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but also inspire future generations.
The short will be released next year, in the lead up to the Tokyo Games, which will run from July 24 To August 9, 2020.

Meanwhile, Netflix gave a sneak peek at the upcoming reboot of the Ghost In The Shell franchise. The new series is a collaboration between Production IG, the studio that is most associated with the series, and newcomers Sola Digital Arts. In a departure for the series, it will be a 3D CG anime and will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki. 

It's been revealed that the character designs are by Ilya Kuvshinov, an extremely talented Russian artist who has found fame online. The first images featuring lead character The Major have now been released. You can check it out at the top of this very post- and very pretty is it too. We can't wait to see it in action!

Netflix also revealed a first look at new original anime Eden (via Variety) from Qibic Pictures. It is set in a far-flung future where humans are thought extinct and robots roam. At least that is, until a pair of farming robots stumble across a human child.

Annecy Cristal winner Masaaki Yuasa is back at this year's festival with his latest, Ride Your Wave. But the prolific film-maker has used the occasion to unveil yet another future film.  Yuasa's Science Saru will produce Inu-Oh which is described as "an animated musical fantasy film based on the life of a 14th century Japanese playwright and theatre performer."

It's adapted from Hideo Furukawa's novel Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh which is a fictionalised interpretation of the real-life figure. Yuasa intends to make it a "lavish musical incorporating modern-day music and dance." The film is intended to be completed in 2021.