Internationally renowned and among the most successful auteur animation filmmakers in Japan is Oscar-nominated Koji Yamamura, whose oeuvre has set benchmarks in the short films genre — for art, poetry and transformation.
This special programme — presented with Montreal’s Cinémathèque Québécoise, the Japan Foundation and the National Film Board of Canada — is a small part of Yamamura’s prodigious output but displays the eclectic range of his creative palette. From his first commissioned works in the early ’90s to his 2002 breakout success, Atama-yama/Mt. Head, through his experimentation and explorations with The Old Crocodile and Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, this programme is a must-see for those craving another look at their Yamamura favourites, as well as for new audiences interested in discovering the work of one of the most influential auteur animators of his generation.
Koji Yamamura, who graduated in 1987 from Tokyo Zokei University, founded his own production company, Yamamura Animation, Inc. in 1993. He has produced short animated films for children, TV commercials and video works using a range of mediums and techniques, including clay, photos, coloured pencils and ink. Besides conducting animation workshops and lectures at international film festivals, he is a member of the board of directors at the Japan Animation Association (JAA) and the Japanese branch of the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA). He is also a professor of animation at the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media.
Yamamura’s most notable works to date are Atama-yama/Mt. Head, which was nominated for an Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards and awarded the Grand Prix at Annecy 2003, and Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor, which has won more than a dozen major prizes and has screened over 100 times.