The Japan Academy Film Prize Association announced the nominees for the 44th annual awards today, January 27. Last year’s “Best Animation of the Year” was Weathering with You directed by Makoto Shinkai
The Japan Academy Prize was established to improve and develop the art, technology, and science of film in Japan, and its selection process is conducted by a vote of the Japan Academy Prize Association members. This year’s nominees were selected from the films released between December 16, 2019, and December 31, 2020, in Japan. The top prize in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on March 19.
The five films that have been nominated for Animation of the Year are:
- “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” (Haruo Sotozaki / October 16, 2020)
- “Violet Evergarden the Movie” (Taichi Ishidate / September 18, 2020)
- “Stand By Me Doraemon 2” (Ryuichi Yagi & Takashi Yamazaki / November 20, 2020)
- “Josee, the Tiger and the Fish” (Kotaro Tamura / December 25, 2020)
- “Poupelle of Chimney Town” (Yusuke Hirota / December 25, 2020)
Also, 73-year-old illustrator/manga artist Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, well-known as the original character designer of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime franchise, was selected for this year’s Special Award from the Association, which honors people who work in professions that support the field of film production.
The reason for the award is explained as – “Together with director Yoshiyuki Tomino, he created a boom of Mobile Suit Gundam that could be called a social phenomenon, and contributed to expanding the possibilities of animation, which was previously considered to be suitable for children, to be enjoyed by adults.”
©Koyoharu Gotoge / SHUEISHA, Aniplex, ufotable
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