Img-A cinema audience looks at a screen bearing the logo 'Kotatsu' and cartoon characters

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival

  •   25 - 26 September, 1 - 3 October 2021
  •   September: Cardiff Chapter
      October: Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns this month as Chapter’s first visiting film festival since lockdown measures ended. Although the festival screenings will have reduced seating due to social distancing, there’s still a great programme of events, with films such as The Deer King, Ride Your Wave, On-Gaku, and Studio Ghibli’s latest Earwig and the Witch.

An important part of the Kotatsu Festival is that every year it supports independent animators, and this year is no exception. There are two independent short films, one beautifully intricate cut-out animation called In Full Bloom and a hand-drawn fresh depiction of affection between two girls in The Mark of Emi.

New this year is the Critic Award, with the judges recently announced as British journalist and author Andrew Osmond, anime critic and freelance writer Ryota Fujitsu and film critic and journalist Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi. Their selection of ‘Best Film’ will be announced on the last day of the festival.

Workshops are also being planned, a repeating and well-loved feature of this festival, but this year due to Covid they will all take place online with just one exception; a Yukata Workshop taking place at Canton Library in Cardiff.

Full details of all the events, screenings and workshops, can be found on the festival website at



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