Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion


June 14 - 19, 2021

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival (2021)


About the festival / Exhibition overview

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival/MIFA is one of the largest and most prestigious animation film festivals in the world. It is held annually in Annecy, France. In 2021, the festival was held as a physical and online hybrid event from June 14 to 19 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 240 films were screened online, 74 master classes, 85 MIFA market events and other public events were held, bringing together professionals from the film industry and film fans from all over the world, both locally and online.

The Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion had an online exhibition at MIFA (Marché international du film d’animation), a market linked with the film festival, and held panel discussions, workshops, and short animation screenings for professionals in the film industry and students of animation. A special website to showcase award-winning animation works was also launched during the festival period (Jun 15-18). Talk sessions with the directors and creators were also held to watch online.

Project Outline

Curatorial Theme: “Expanded Animation”

Thanks to advances in information and communications technology, most notably the internet, animation expressions and techniques have changed tremendously. Meanwhile, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has changed the ways and places in which we create and consume media, too. These changes have deepened the role and importance of animation, and inspired various never-before-seen concepts and expressions in the medium. This exhibit, from the Japan Media Arts Festival, run by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, aims to introduce Japan’s movement of “Expanded Animation” and the bold works of its energetic creators to the world.

Director: OKAMOTO Mitsuko (Producer/Vice President, Tokyo University of the Arts; Professor, Department of Animation, Postgraduate School of Film and New Media; Director, SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD.)

Curatorial Theme full version


Special animation website launched

A special website was launched (in English only) to coincide with the festival. It shares content related to Japanese animation with overseas audiences through original projects.

Special site

Talk Session

Three talk sessions with artists, critics and other experts were held to delve deep into Japanese animation’s dynamic evolution, touching on themes such as the expansion of generations, genre and screens.

Title ”Animation That Grows Up With You: A Girls‘ Anime Franchise Turns 20”
  • SATO Junichi (director of “Looking for Magical Doremi”, “Ojamajo Doremi”)
  • FUJITSU Ryouta (animation critic)
Related sites

Title “Blending Live-Action and Animation to Create On-Gaku: Our Sound
  • IWAISAWA Kenji (director of “ONGAKU – Our Sound”)
  • DOI Nobuaki (researcher/critic/producer)
Related sites

Title “VR, AR, and MR: New Screen Possibilities”
  • YUHARA Kazuki (director of “Canaria”)
  • MACHIBA Katsutoshi (XR content producer)
Related sites

VR content showcase

Animation has flown off the screen and onto new platforms like VR and 360-degree video. The site showcases Japanese animation created for these new platforms.

Selected works
  • ”Replacements” / Jonathan HAGARD, Nova Dewi SETIABUDI, Andreas HARTMANN, Dewi HAGARD, KIDA Kaori, Paul BOUCHARD
  • ”Canaria” / YUHARA Kazuki
  • ”BEAT” / ITOH Keisuke
Related sites Animation special site (VR Experience)

Creator’s File 2021

A selection of creators from the Japanese animation scene who are gaining attention. Includes profiles of each creator and a list of their representative works.

Selected creators
Related sites Animation special site (Creator’s File 2021)


Screenings and events on MIFA online website (paid)

Expanded Animation” curated screening program of short animated films

The screening program is centered around 24th Japan Media Arts Festival award winners that give a feel for the new possibilities animation has to offer, plus Japan’s unique animation methods.

Included works
  • “Battles – Sugar Foot” / AC-bu
  • “The Man on the Shore” / MORISHIGE Hikaru/OZASA Daisuke
  • “The mark of Emi” / FURUKAWAHARA Momoka
  • “PIANOMAN” / KODAMA Tetsuro
  • “My Little Goat” / MISATO Tomoki
  • “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” (episode 1) / YUASA Masaaki
Related sites

MIFA Partners Conference panel discussion

A panel discussion was held with the directors of the world’s three major international animation festivals, along with YAMAMURA Koji, director of the Media Arts Division of the newly established Hiroshima Festival to be held in 2022, and OKAMOTO Mitsuko, director of this project.

TItle “Expanded Animation” curated screening program of short animated films
  • Marcel JEAN / Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Festival
  • Chris ROBINSON / Artistic Director, Ottawa International Animation Festival
  • Daniel ŠULJIĆ / Artistic Director, World Festival of Animation Film Animafest Zagreb
Special Guest YAMAMURA Koji / Director, Hiroshima Festival Media Arts Division
Moderator OKAMOTO Mitsuko / Director, Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion
Streaming date and time Jun. 15 11:00 a.m. – CEST (UTC+2)
Related sites

MIFA Campus (workshop)

Primarily aimed at animation students, this is a master class centered around Japanese animation techniques held as a part of the MIFA Campus.

TItle “Animate to Communicate – Approaches for making better animation -”
Instructor INAMURA Takeshi (Supervising Animator, STUDIO PONOC, Inc./JENA Certified Instructor)
Moderator TAKEUCHI Koji (Animation Producer, Festival Director, Tokyo Anime Award Festival, Former President, Telecom Animation Film Co., Ltd.)
Streaming date and time Jun. 15 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CEST (UTC+2) *Live Streaming
Related sites