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Excellence Award

A Child's Metaphysics


Animated short film [Japan]

A head full of figures, a zipped up mouth inside a zipped up mouth, a spooling face, two eyes supported by fish ―. In distorting children’s bodies, Yamamura skillfully captures their mode of life. This is a philosophical ‘Yamamura world’ that humorously and satirically depicts contemporary conditions surrounding children.

© Yamamura Animation




Born in Nagoya, 1964. Mt Head received six Grand Prizes at animation film festivals including, Annecy, Zagreb, and Hiroshima, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award. Also Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor won seven Grand Prizes including Ottawa. He has received more than 50 international awards. He is sub-chairman of the Japan Animation Association (JAA) and a professor of the graduate school of Tokyo University of the Arts.

( 2008 )

Award Reason

The artist is now one of the best-known Japanese animation artists and his works have also received high acclaim in other countries. He is consistently and energetically produces outstanding works, several of which have been entered in this year’s Japan Media Arts Festival. All of them were equally appealing and brilliant. In particular, however, this unique animation presentation examines the world of children and the inside of children’s heads with philosophical humor. One child commuting between regular school and cram school always has numbers floating inside its head. The face of a child who is a bookworm turns into a book. Another child is literally trying to kick its feeling of oppression while shouting "Waaaaaaaa!" A child is forced to smile despite feeling sad, though the unhappy face remains. One mysterious child hides various faces, and another conceals sad tears on the inside. A child tries to fit into fixed frames. Another gets lost while looking at things and listening to others. We smile at those children but realize it is a satire of all human beings. This is an excellent piece of work characterized by the sharpness of both the artist’s gaze and presentation techniques.

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