Date: 2020 May 17 19:10
Posted by Joe
On Sunday, 10 May 2020 at the closing award ceremony of the 27th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), this year's Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film - named after the German-born silhouette animator who made the earliest surviving animated feature, and awarded to the jury's choice of the best graduation film by a film student - was awarded to Japanese animator Mizuki Kiyama for her graduation film Bath House of Whales (くじらの湯 Kujira no yu, 2019), produced at Tokyo University of the Arts.
Kiyama, who now stylizes her name as Kiyamamizuki (キヤマミズキ), animated and directed the 7-minute-long short in paint on glass; it was produced by Oscar-nominated indie animator and Tokyo University of the Arts professor Koji Yamamura, along with Yuichi Ito, Mitsuko Okamoto and Taruto Fuyama.The festival has now finished, but the short is still available to view officially on the YouTube channel of Osaka-based organization Knowledge Capital.
Her name was previously written as 木山瑞嬉, and while going by this rendering she made independent shorts including the 5-minute Futatsume (ふたつめ, 2016), 1-minute Metatarō (メタ太郎, 2017) - both on her Vimeo channel - and 3-minute On the way home (かえりみち Kaerimichi, 2018) and worked for Science SARU as an animator and digital animator on episodes of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!.
The Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award includes €10,000, sponsored by MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg. The jury at this year's festival comprised Jon Frickey (who made the Japanese-co-produced Cat Days, featured in this year's Best of Animation program), Waltraud Grausgruber, Ben Mitchell, Cécile Noesser and Gerben Schermer.
Japanese productions that have won awards at Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film before include Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea in 2010, Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words in 2014 and Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai in 2019, all of which won the AniMovie Award for the best animated feature film screened at the festival.
Thanks to Otaku News reader Jordan Scott for bringing this to our attention!