The first Niigata International Animation Film Festival (NIAFF) will take place March 17-22, 2023 in the Japanese port city of Niigata, about 200 miles north of Tokyo.

Here are the first details:

  • NIAFF will be held annually and is dedicated to uplifting animated feature films from around the world. It will host screenings of theatrical features, streaming platform features and TV series reformatted as feature films. The submission window for next year’s event will open in November.
  • Universities, animation schools and studios will be invited to collaborate in the organization of events, including training workshops, conferences and seminars on the industry and the market. According to the festival’s announcement, Niigata will help develop “new theories about the world of animation, on topics rarely discussed internationally, and create a space for critical reflection within the festival.”
  • The inaugural Niigata Festival team includes Jury President Mamoru Oshii, Director of ghost in the shell; festival director Shinichiro Inoue, former editor of new type; art director Tadashi Sudo, animation journalist; and General Secretary Taro Maki, producer of In this corner of the world and Mobile Police Patlaboration.
  • Thirty to thirty-five feature films will be screened during the first year of the festival, of which 10 to 12 will appear in a competition section. There will also be sidebars focusing on global trends, awards for people and productions that contribute to the evolution of animation, “The Manga Gaze” program exploring the relationship between animation and comics. , retrospectives, an academic program with an industry seminar and conference, and several symposia and workshops for animation students.
  • NIAFF is organized by an executive committee chaired by Eurospace producer Kenzo Horikoshi (Annette, like someone in love). Film distributor and theater operator Eurospace and anime production company Genco will produce the event, which operates with an initial budget of around 50 million yen ($393,000).
  • Niigata City is more than capable of hosting a festival like NIAFF. It is currently home to the Niigata Anime/Manga Festival, which averages 50,000 attendees each year; the Niigata City Manga and Anime Information Center for promoting manga and anime; and the Niigata City Manga House, a library housing over 10,000 volumes.