The Japan Media Arts Festival is a prestigious festival for media art in Japan and since 1997 has been held annually by the Agency for Cultural Affairs*1, comprehensively covering works from a diverse range of media. The festival welcomes entries from around the world every year and gives awards with their honor to outstanding works in each of its four categories: Art, Entertainment, Animation, and Manga. The 23rd festival received 3,566 entries from 107 countries and regions worldwide.

A part of the festival’s annual activities, including symposiums, screenings, and showcases of award-winning and other notable works, are held not only domestically but also internationally, with several international events, festivals and museums dedicated to media art. In addition, the official website for the overseas promotion of the festival has been refreshed on 3rd June 2020 and a brand-new special website dedicated to the festival’s animation division was launched on 15th June 2020 with a variety of new content and information, managed by the Visual Industry Promotion Organization*2 (VIPO), the trustee for overseas promotion of the festival by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Animationweek presents a series of special interviews with the 4 leading Japanese animation studios, all having their works selected for the festival: STUDIO 4°C, TRIGGER, Science SARU and TECARAT (a division of TAIYO KIKAKU). We are happy to share the precious words of the studios, with special thanks to the Agency for Cultural Affairs for giving us permission to reprint the articles here.

*1: A Japanese governmental body, belonging to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Promoting Japanese art and culture is one of their public missions.
*2: A non-profit organization in Japan that supports the Japanese content industry (anime, broadcasting, character, games, movie, music, publishing) to make it internationally competitive and to contribute to the growth of the Japanese economy.

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