Photo/Illutration“Kimi to Nami ni Noretara” ((c) 2019 Kimi to Nami ni Noretara Production Committee)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Masaaki Yuasa’s “Ride Your Wave” and Keiichi Hara’s “The Wonderland” will be competing in the feature film category at the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France.

“The Relative Worlds” by Yuhei Sakuragi is also included in the same category, while Ayumu Watanabe’s “Children of the Sea” is listed in the Counterchamp category.

It is the fourth time for Yuasa to have one of his films screened in competition at the prestigious festival, and the second time in the feature film category. He won the Cristal for a Feature Film award in 2017 with “Lu Over the Wall,” becoming the first Japanese director in 22 years to receive the top prize following Isao Takahata, who won the gong for his “Pom Poko” in 1995.

Hara received the Special Distinction and Audience awards for “Colorful” at Annecy in 2011, and won the Jury Award for “Miss Hokusai” at the same festival in 2015.

The Annecy event ranks among the world's four top animation film festivals, together with its counterparts held in Zagreb, Ottawa and Hiroshima. First held in 1960 after the animation category of the Cannes Film Festival became independent, Annecy is known as the world’s largest and longest-running animated film festival.

Anime maestro Hayao Miyazaki also received the top prize at Annecy in 1993 for his “Porco Rosso.” In 2007, Mamoru Hosoda’s “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” was given the Special Distinction award.

Many programs will be offered to introduce Japanese animation culture at this year’s festival after Japan was selected as the guest country of honor.

The event will be held for five days from June 10. The recipient of the Cristal award will be announced on the final day, June 15.

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