The Platform International Animation Festival will present renowned Japanese artist Katsuhiro Otomo with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 27 at 9:30 pm at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., Los Angeles). The evening will begin with an exclusive screening of Otomo’s new short film, Combustible, a sure Oscar contender, followed by a conversation with animation historian Jerry Beck and the award ceremony.
Platform is a three-day event in collaboration with CalArts that takes place Oct. 26-28.
“It is an incredibly great honor for Platform to welcome Katsuhiro Otomo to the United States after so many years absence,” said festival director Irene Kotlarz. “We are delighted to present him with our first Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his unique and original contribution to the art of animation. In recognizing an artist whose origins are deeply rooted in manga, Platform continues its polemical mission to break boundaries into other art forms and embrace a concept of animation that represents the widest possible range of influences.”
Otomo is internationally recognized as one of the leading creative forces in modern Japanese anime and manga. Otomo began his career writing and drawing manga in the 1970s, then entered Japan’s animation industry as a character designer in the early 1980s. His epic story Akira was published as manga from 1982-88 and then adapted into a feature film released in 1988, which Otomo also wrote and directed. Akira has become a classic example of science fiction and a game-changing work of anime, inspiring such modern day Hollywood filmmakers as Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan, and Andy & Lana Wachowski. In 1987, Otomo made several short films that were included in the compilation features Robot Carnival and Neo-Tokyo (Manie-Manie). He wrote the screenplay adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001), and he has also directed several live-action movies. In 2005, Otomo was awarded the honor of Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Minister of Culture.
Otomo continues to write and draw comics and to direct his own animated features, including Memories (1995), Steamboy (2004), and most recently, Combustible. The story of Combustible takes place in the city of Edo in the 18th Century. Owaka, the daughter of a merchant family, and her childhood friend, Matsukichi. are drawn to each other, but Matsukichi has been disowned by his family, and is working for the city fire brigade. Meanwhile, negotiations begin for the arrangement of Owaka’s marriage. Unable to let go of her thoughts of Matsukichi, Owaka’s mad emotions stir up a massive inferno that razes Edo. By chance encounter, the two meet again amidst the fires. An epic spectacle, Combustible is ignited by the traditional style of Japanese painting as inspiration, and its combination of hand-drawn and 3D CG animation fosters a fresh and original visual expression for the film.
Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Platform is honored to have additional support from its founding sponsor Cartoon Network, as well as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Television Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood.
Tickets for the Otomo evening program are $20 for the general public, $16 for members. Tickets for all other PLATFORM programs are $10 for the general public, $8 for members. Discounts are available for multi-program purchases. Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800, at www.redcat.org, or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon–6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.
PLATFORM is part of the ongoing Jack H. Skirball “Film at REDCAT” series of screenings and presentations by independent film and video makers from around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.redcat.org/category/redcat-event-type/film-video.