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"New Japanese Animation Talent" at New York Comic Con 2014
KAKEHASHI Project - The Bridge for Tomorrow


Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 1:45pm

at Room 1A21,

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York

655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001



Five emerging animators from Japan will introduce their recent work, talk about their current undertakings, and share their thoughts on being animators in Japan today. The panel will be moderated by Justin Leach, the producer for Kick-Heart. The group will also be joined by special guest Natasha Allegri, creator of Bee and PuppyCat, who has also worked on Adventure Time, and who is participating in the KAKEHASHI Project reciprocally from the US to visit Japan.


For details about the panel on the New York Comic Con website, please click here.


PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are required for New York Comic Con in order to attend the panel. Tickets are limited in number and available at newyorkcomiccon.com while supplies last.



Saki Muramoto / It's time for supper. /

Saki Muramoto is a freelance animator. Her films include People who are eating (2012) and It's time for supper. (2013). It's time for supper. was selected for Animafest Zagreb, Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, and for the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival. She is a graduate of Nagoya University of the Arts and Tokyo University of the Arts.


Ryo Okawara / A Wind Egg /

Ryo Okawara is a freelance animation director and illustrator. His 2012 film, A Wind Egg, was awarded the Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film at the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. His other films include the collaborative work Orchestra (2008) and Animal Dance (2009) and his work has been shown at animation festivals in Toronto, Ottawa, and Annecy, France. He is a graduate of Tama Art University and Tokyo University of the Arts.


Saori Shiroki / Woman Who Stole Fingers /

Saori Shiroki is an independent animator from Japan who studied oil painting at Tama Art University, and animation at Tokyo University of the Arts. She promotes her work through independent film festivals, online video sharing websites, and on social networking sites. Her work includes Woman Who Stole Fingers (2010), Maggot (2007), The Funeral (2005), and Night Lights (2005).


Aya Suzuki / The Illusionist /

Aya Suzuki is an animator raised and trained in the UK and Japan. She received her bachelor's degree in Film and Animation from The Arts Institute at Bournemouth (UK) in 2005. Her graduation film, Wooden Island, received several award nominations and was screened at various festivals. Her professional work includes animation and storyboards for Sylvain Chomet's Oscar nominated The Illusionist (2010), animation and layouts for Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar nominated The Wind Rises (2013) at Studio Ghibli, Japanese academy award winning Wolf Children (Dir. Mamoru Hosoda, 2012) and The Dreaming Machine (Dir. Satoshi Kon, Madhouse, in production). She also works as a lecturer around the world at animation festivals, art colleges and universities.


Yuzuru Tachikawa / Death Billiards /

Yuzuru Tachikawa is an animation director. After working on several projects at the well-known animation studio MADHOUSE, he left the company to work as a freelancer. He has worked on such TV productions as BLEACH, Steins;Gate, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, and Kill la Kill. In 2012, he debuted as a director on the animation portion of Arata-naru-sekai. In 2013, as part of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs Young Animator Project, Anime Mirai (The Future of Anime), his animated short Death Billiards was shown in theaters. Mr. Tachikawa served as director, screenwriter, and story creator on this film. Currently, he is working as the assistant director for the show Terror in Resonance while preparing for new TV projects. For his new project, he will be the writer, director, and show runner, in addition to being the story creator.



Justin Leach / Producer, Kick-Heart

Justin Leach began his career as an animator in 1997 at Blue Sky Studios. In 2001, he moved to Japan to work as a CG creator at Production I.G on Mamoru Oshii's Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2. In 2005, he was part of the founding team hired to jump-start Lucasfilm's new 3D animated series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He returned to Blue Sky in 2007 to work on such films as: Ice Age 3: Dawn Of the Dinosaurs, Rio, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Epic, Rio 2 and the upcoming Peanuts Movie. In December of 2012, he was the first person to successfully produce a Japanese anime using Kickstarter called Kick-Heart, written and directed by Masaaki Yuasa and created at Production I.G., which became an award-winning film that participated in top animation and film festivals around the world.


Special Guest

Natasha Allegri / Bee and Puppycat

Natasha Allegri is an artist and writer. She is well known for her work with the characters, Fionna and Cake, on Cartoon Network's Adventure Time show and spin off comic series from BOOM! Studios. She is the creator of the upcoming cartoon series, Bee and PuppyCat, on Frederator's Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel. Bee and PuppyCat is the largest animation series every crowd-funded and premieres November 6. 2014. Ms. Allegri's work is heavily influenced by her love of Japanese culture.



The Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation is a public institution dedicated to sharing Japanese culture and language with people throughout the world. By presenting diverse aspects of Japanese culture, we create platforms of communication and understanding between the peoples of the world and Japan.


This program is part of the "KAKEHASHI Project - The Bridge for Tomorrow -" within the Youth Exchange Program with North America promoted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA).
The Japan Foundation KAKEHASHI website: http://www.jpf.go.jp/e/intel/youth/index.html


For further inquiries and information, please contact Susannah Davidson at susannah_davidson@jfny.org or 212-489-0299 x155, or Tomomi Tanikawa at tomomi_tanikawa@jfny.org or 212-489-0299 x153.

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