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Japan Gets Ready for Its Annecy Closeup

Japan may not appear to be a particularly surprising choice for the spotlight nation at the 2019 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. But since 1999, when Annecy last so honored Japan, much has changed, and 2019 finds Japanese animation bursting with creative and commercial potential and sitting on the verge of a global breakout.

“The focus on Japan makes sense from an industry perspective in terms of just the level of productions and global audience,” says Dave Jesteadt, president of Gkids, U.S. distributor for many Japanese animated films, including the oeuvre of Hayao Miyazaki and several of the films playing the festival. “The Annecy team has done a great job in terms of matching that focus with films to back it up.”

This year, four of the 18 films in the feature competitions hail from Japan — more than any other nation and far from a rare occurrence. The festival’s most anticipated event

See full article on Variety