More about the films from the organizers:
FROM UP ON POPPY HILL
Set in Yokohama, From Up On Poppy Hill is a high school love story that takes place in the year before the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. As the country begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, the new generation struggles to move towards a prosperous future whilst trying not to lose the essence of their past. The film's rich and vibrant animation captures the entrancing beauty of Yokohama's harbour and lush surrounding hillsides and, with a soundtrack that draws inspiration from the finest music of the time, perfectly captures the thrills of young romance and the hope of a new dawn.
THE DIRECTOR: GORO MIYAZAKI
The son of Hayao Miyazaki, Goro Miyazaki worked as a construction consultant in landscape planning and design of parks and urban forestry projects. In1998, Goro undertook the overall design of the Studio Ghibli Museum, and acted as managing director from 2001 to June 2005. His directorial debut was the 2006 Studio Ghibli film, Tales from Earthsea.
THE STUDIO: STUDIO GHIBLI
Studio Ghibli is often referred to as the 'Disney of the East'. Animated films of the highest quality are Studio Ghibli's hallmark. Their works are renowned the world over for their unique and visionary worlds, beautiful animation, and engaging characters that are beloved by all ages. Their films include Spirited Away (Academy Award-winner for Best Animated Feature Film), Howl's Moving Castle and Arrietty.
When Hana falls in love, it feels like a fairy tale. She starts a family and produces two beautiful children - Yuki (Snow), a girl, and Ame (Rain), a boy. But the family harbours a secret - their father is a 'Wolf-Man', half human and half wolf, and has passed his affliction on to his children. The family try to reside discreetly in a quiet corner of the city, but their joyful life is shattered when their father passes away. To live peacefully, Hana must make the difficult decision to move Yuki and Ame to a small town and surround them with nature.
THE DIRECTOR: MAMORU HOSODA
One of the most exciting animation directors working today, Mamoru Hosoda's debut, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) won 'Animation of the Year' at the Japan Academy Prizes, among numerous other international awards. And with 2009's Summer Wars, he earned further acclaim and a slew of awards, including the Japan Academy Prizes, the Stiges Film Festival and an 'Annie'.
BERSERK - THE EGG OF THE KING
An epic action-adventure tale set against a dark, European-inspired medieval fantasy world, Berzerk - The Egg of the King follows the story of Guts, a lone mercenary renowned for his ferocity and unmatched in a fight - especially when armed with his imposing sword, a towering blade as tall as he. His destiny is to eventually become 'The Black Swordsman' and he will face untold horrors in battle.
In this first film from The Golden Age Arc trilogy, Guts' actions in combat capture the attention of Griffith, leader of the mercenary group 'The Band of the Hawk'. Griffith soon moves to recruit Guts into their ranks, but despite a slew of victories and successes, Guts begins to questions Griffith's true purpose, whose ambition may lead them both to a horrible fate.
Based on Kentaro Miura's bestselling manga series - which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide - Berserk: The Golden Age Arc trilogy takes the franchise into a bold and exciting new direction, with cutting-edge animation, intricately detailed swordplay and a gripping storyline.
THE STUDIO: STUDIO 4°C
The highly-respected Studio 4°C is famous for both its award-winning animated feature films, such as Mind Game and Tekkonkinkreet, as well as its stunning shorts for the Batman anthology Gotham Knight, videogame blockbuster Halo Legends and The Matrix animated tie-in, The Animatrix.
CHILDREN WHO CHASE LOST VOICES
Having lived a lonely life ever since her father's passing, Asuna spends her days listening to the otherworldly sounds of a crystal radio, left to her as a memento. Exploring the mountains near her home, Asuna is attacked by a strange beast. A mysterious stranger steps in to save her life, however their acquaintance is tragically cut short when the boy is killed. But when Asuna discovers a gateway to another world, she is overjoyed at the prospect of seeing him again. Alongside a band of friends who hold feelings of hope for their lost ones, Asuna undertakes a journey into a land of legends.
THE DIRECTOR: MAKOTO SHINKAI
Born in Nagano, Japan, 1973, Makoto Shinkai's independently produced breakout film, Voices of a Distant Star (2002) won acclaim and a number of awards in Japan, and led to the subsequent features, The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004) and 5 Centimeters per Second (2007). Along with his DIY approach to animation, Shinkai's beautiful imagery, themes of loss and the distance between people have defined a unique and unforgettable style.