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 118 new films. Six ‘general’ International Competition Programmes, our ever popular Abstract Showcase and Long Shorts programmes, plus the British Showcase. 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
Play Like A Driver (Manabu Himeda, Japan)
A surreal, psychedelic take on driving naked – and other stuff!
Mrs Kabogodzilla (Moe Koyano, Japan)
Mrs Kabogodzilla has a daughter whose arms and legs are the spitting image of her own. After the mother is hospitalised, the daughter remembers the past and thinks about what lies ahead.
The Tale of the Plump Bird (Saki Iyori, Japan)
A beautifully hand-crafted film surveying the shifting sands and malleable priorities of the relationship between a special bird and its unusual caretaker.
Maku (Yoriko Mizushiri, Japan)
A breath, an innuendo, two pairs of knees that almost touch. Sensuous tension builds and builds and makes the air feel electrically charged.
1234 (Shiro Ichige, Japan)
Way Back to the Sea (Kaori Iwase, Japan)
A big catfish is stuck on a riverbank, where he lives quietly with a little catfish in a boat packed with memories from back home.
Dark Mixer (Hirotoshi Iwasaki, Japan)
Waiter (Ryoji Yamada, Japan)
Down in the cafe amongst the armchairs, the mocking hard-boiled eggs and the flower-head car drivers, things are beginning to get a bit strange.
Genius Expo (Mirai Mizuie, Japan)
A merry musical kaleidoscope of colours and shapes dance and transform in this visual firecracker.
My Milk Cup Cow (Yantong Zhu, Japan)
Nunu’s father tells his 4-year-old daughter that there’s a cow at the bottom of her milk cup. She drinks her milk, only to realise that there is no cow. Gradually the daughter stops believing her father.
See Ya Mr Banno! (Yoko Yuki, Japan)
Mr Banno surprises his students with his bald head and hot air balloon. Oh Mr Banno!
00:08 (Yutard Kubo, Japan)
Ahhhhh coffee, there’s frenzy and mayhem in every cup.
Master Blaster (Sawako Kabuki, Japan)
A girl would like to be together forever with her sweetheart. Emotions start swirling. Yearning, possessiveness, jealousy, and guilt.