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Kotatsu Animation Festival Presents 'Women Make Animation' Online This March

March is Women's History Month, including International Women's Day on March 8. Traditionally there will be a number of events taking place to celebrate the work of women in the animation industry. This year is no exception, although most of them will have to take place online, for obvious reasons.

Women Make Animation is an online event organised by Kotatsu Festival, one of the UK's most established  Japanese animation festivals in collaboration with Wales One World Festival. Kotatsu's director Eiko Meridith put together a program of short films directed by Japanese woman directors. The film-makers are all up-and-coming directors- including students of schools such as Tokyo Zokei University and independent animators- so they are not established names. It'll be an exciting chance to see a glimpse of the future of Japanese animation.

IWD's theme this year is 'Choose to challenge' so the films were selected to match the theme. The program will screen on March 13 via the WOW platform, and will be available for one week Additionally, the films are all family-friendly, so they can be viewed by anyone and the program is available for free. Unfortunately, the event is restricted to viewers in the UK.

The selection includes a wide variety of themes and techniques. Featured shorts include To Bee Continued by TZU's Aki Ezure, a bizarre and bee-themed story of a woman learning to be brave and Bathhouse Of Whales,  a glass-painted story of a girl's visit to a local bathhouse from Mizuku Kiyama.

The festival will also host a free creative workshop with Japanese animator and illustrator Chie Arai via Zoom. Chie will demonstrate how to draw a girl in a kimono, and then viewers will get the chance to draw characters in their own national dress and share them with Chie. The workshop will take place at 2 PM GMT on March 13. The workshop will be recorded so children will require parental consent. Register here.


Short Film Programme:

• Dress Flowery (Hikari Haruta)
Tiny World (Yuri Matsumoto)
OUT OF THE BOX (Hwang Dasom)
Blue Dog (Ji Zhaoqi)
To Bee Continued (Aki Ezure)
It is love (Akiho Shimizu)
Nekoze Kansatsuki (Hikari Yamashita)
Blessing 0-5 (Arisa Wakami)
Mommy (Yusio+Arisa Wakami)
Turtle’s Strol (Minori Matsuoka)
While You Sleep (Kano Ikeda)
Indoor Days (Asaki Nishino)
House Rattler (Shinobu Soejima)
Bath House of Whales (Mizuki Kiyama)
Good Night (Makiko Nanke)