Simon Hart, Artistic Director:

Mention of anime can provoke the most extreme reactions among animation lovers. But look beyond anime’s glossy, hyper-finished, hyper-coloured, often hyper-violent and/or sexualised style and vibe and the best examples of this genre, fearlessly exploring challenging subjects with insight and sensitivity, evoke richly imagined and realised worlds which the Hollywood model of film making might baulk at doing. I hope you enjoy these vibrant, brilliantly original and thought-provoking films, full of joy and passion for the craft of animation.

GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1988) Isao Takahata (89 mins)

Separated from their parents in the aftermath of an American firebombing raid on their city during World War II, a teenage boy and his young sister fight against the greatest of odds to survive.

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SPIRITED AWAY (2001) Hayao Miyazaki (125 mins)

After her parents are transformed into pigs, a young girl is caught in a spirit world and there seems to be no escape, either for her or for them… A best-animated feature Oscar-winner and regularly featured by critics as the best animation made, a classic from the Miyazaki studios.

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PAPRIKA (2006) Satoshi Kon (90 mins)

A detective employs a doctor to plumb his subconscious, to try and make some sense of his recurring, all too real nightmares. A trippy mind-bending story, uncannily anticipating Christopher Nolan’s film Inception, in which reality and dreams seamlessly merge.

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