Anime short ‘Hand Soap’ wins prize at Hiroshima animation festival

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The short Japanese anime “Hand Soap” won a Special Prize at the 13th Hiroshima International Animation Festival on Aug. 11.

Director Kei Oyama’s short piece was named among the six Special Prize winners at the closing ceremony that evening.

“I am especially touched to win an award at this Hiroshima International Animation Festival,” Oyama said in his acceptance speech. “That’s not just because this animation festival is wonderful, but it means a lot to me to receive an award in front of so many people who have supported me so far. Thank you very much,” he also said.

The festival’s Grand Prix went to “Angry Man” by Anita Killi. “Angry Man” and “Hand Soap” were screened on the third day of the festival. Both directors were present at the news conference following the screenings.

Afterward, Oyama was heard to say: “I think this piece (“Angry Man”) will win the Grand Prix.”
Although many thought that “Divers in the Rain,” directed by Priit and Olga Parn, would win the top prize because it won the Grand Prix at the World Festival of Animated Film in Zagreb in June, it came in second with the Hiroshima Prize.

The Hiroshima International Animation Festival is one of the world’s four top animated film festivals, along with the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the World Festival of Animated Film in Zagreb and the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Top winners from each are considered for nominations for Hollywood’s Academy Awards each year.

“Angry Man” won the Special Jury Award, Audience Award and UNICEF Award at this year’s Annecy festival.

“Lost and Found,” winner as the best film for children at this year’s Zagreb festival, was one of the six recipients of the Special International Jury Prize at Hiroshima.

“The Little Boy and the Beast,” by Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschoetter, which won the Cristal award for best TV production at Annecy, also won a Special Prize at Hiroshima.

“Muto,” directed by BLU and won a Special International Jury Prize, is already widely known, as it has been much discussed on the Internet for the past two years.

BLU’s new short, “Big Bang Big Boom,” was released last month and is already attracting attention.

Following the Annecy, Zagreb and Hiroshima festivals, Oyama’s “Hand Soap” was also chosen for competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in October.

In addition to “Angry Man,” “Divers in the Rain” and “A Family Portrait,” which won the Debut Prize at the Hiroshima gala, the Ottawa festival will feature “Logorama,” which took home an Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards, and this year’s Annecy Crystal award (grand prix) winner, “The Lost Thing.”

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.