The backbone of the whole LIAF mission. We’ve emerged from under the pile of 2,400 entries to put together a series of programmes that showcase the best 128 new films. Six ‘general’ International Competition Programmes, our ever popular Abstract Showcase and Long Shorts programmes, plus the British Showcase and Animated Documentaries. The films come in from every corner, they use every technique, they can be funny, dramatic, eye-popping, subdued, documentary or autobiographical. The one thing they have in common is that we think they’re the pick of the crop.
Independent Japanese animation has had a massive upturn in recent years and the world is beginning to sit up and take notice. This programme celebrates the best of these films, opening the window on the wildly imaginative world of new young Japanese animation.
At Barbican book tickets
Don’t Tell Mom (Kawako Sabuki, Japan)
The secret joys of bike-riding and much more – but don’t tell Mom, whatever you do!
Age of Obscure (Mirai Mizue, Japan)
A glorious collision of freaky visual music and mesmerising impressionistic illustrations, featuring music by Twoth.
At the Mouth of Summer (Xinxin Liu, Japan)
At a packed Chinese beach, people are enjoying the summer holidays, until a thunderstorm ensues.
Track (Tochka, Japan)
Tochka’s signature style of flashlight animation and mind-blowing temporary graffiti.
Feed (Eri Okazaki, Japan)
Two large, gentle beings plant trees; a goat is fed; meatballs are cooked – slow, mysterious, beautiful.
Hairy Heaven (Minori Yamada, Japan)
I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. Aaaaaah!
Goodbye Tears (Shoko Matsumura, Japan)
If managing life is about managing chaos then tears are the prisms that afford the widest views of the terrain.
Solitarium (Sumito Sakakibara, Japan)
Naked people run around in a forest, brides and grooms twirl and dance, a severed brain gets whipped, the hypnotising rhythms of another world.
I Can’t Breathe (Sayaka Kihata, Japan)
What happens when you drown your friend by mistake?
Retro Future (Mirai Mizue, Japan)
A futuristic but strangely retro look at childhood featuring a sound design by the legendary Matsuo Ohno, sound artist from ‘Astro Boy’.
Radio Wave (Miyajima Ryotaro, Japan)
During the Cold War a boy tunes the radio and discovers a world of hidden codes.
Sugar Lump (Ryo Okawara, Japan)
An adolescent boy lives in a burning house with his parents. A darkly comic tale of black coffee and sugar lumps.