Animation has flown off the screen and onto a range of new platforms for all to enjoy. Creators are trying their hand at things like VR and 360-degree films, opening up new possibilities for experiencing animation. Here, we introduce award-winning works from the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival as well as ones nominated in the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s VR division.
“Replacements” depicts a Javanese family living in a fictional neighborhood in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia.
Inspired by people and places that truly exist, they are witnesses of this congested metropolis's urban, environmental, political, and cultural transformations from about 1980 to 2020.
A praise of the satisfaction of impermanent things, it tells about the dented yet peaceful transition of an old traditional village to an uprooted megapolis through three generations. This experience aims to appreciate and introspect Jakarta's recent history through the eyes of an ordinary family that most Indonesians, from children to elders, can identify with.
Countries of production: Japan, Indonesia, Germany
International distribution Company: Diversion cinema
“Canaria” is a 360-degree, hand-drawn VR animation by YUHARA Kazuki, a student at the Department of Animation at Tokyo University of the Arts. It also serves as a music video for the song of the same name by Shugo Tokumaru, which is both experimental and pop. The video, which took over six months to create, is based on the theme of a canary's encounter with the world. It is a colorful, meticulously hand-drawn 360-degree animation that can be experienced using VR goggles, an omnidirectional screen, a computer, or a smartphone. In this virtual space, viewers are encouraged to immerse themselves in the magnificent worldview. The piece is an attempt to redefine music videos from something to be viewed to something to be experienced.
“Beat” is a story elaborated from your “Heart.” You can experience the work with your heart in your hands. First, you encounter a rusted robot, absolutely static. He doesn’t have a “heart” that allows him to move. You can grant him a new heart by putting yours in the robot. He then stands up and starts to move, expressing joy to live out all his strength. However, when he meets new robots, he doesn’t know how to communicate properly. It is a story in which you can realize the power of the heart and the importance of emotional connection with others.