Otomo to attend LA’s Platform Animation Festival

Anime and manga superstar Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) will be appearing in person at the PLATFORM International Animation Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 27th at 9:30pm – and I’m happy to announce I will be moderating a Q & A session with him at the event. Festival director Irene Kotlarz will be presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award and we will also be screening his new short, Combustible. Please read the complete press release about this event, here.

Otomo’s appearance is his first public one in the U.S. since 1990. Or at least since the last time I’ve seen him. Here are some vintage snapshots (below) of Otomo and I appearing at screenings of AKIRA at New York’s Film Forum (bottom) – and at an Asifa meeting at the New School (top) in 1990. It’ll be fun to see him again. Akira has gone on to become a classic example of science fiction and a game-changing work of anime – inspiring many modern day Hollywood filmmakers such as Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan and the Wachowski siblings.

The PLATFORM International Animation Festival is a three-day event taking place in Los Angeles on October 26th-28th, 2012. In addition to the Otomo appearance and screening, there will be a retrospective of films by stop motion pioneer Ladsislaw Starewicz, A Best of Annecy shorts program, A special screening from PES, a presentation on the making of Disney’s new short Paperman and a CalArts student film retrospective. If you are in L.A. I urge you not miss this event. Seriously – buy tickets NOW.

Click the thumbnails below to see images from Otomo’s new short, Combustible:


  • Beamish13

    That whole event looks remarkable! I can’t wait to see the Cal Arts shorts, too. Didn’t Otomo have a film in development with Dreamworks years ago entitled ASH?

    • Nick

      Yeah Ash will absolutely never be made. Ash was planned when Dreamworks was doing the 2d animation thing and one of their great ideas was bringing Otomo over to direct. The thing is Ash would have been the film version of the creator owned comic “Ash” by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palimotti. Quesada and Palimotti’s Event Comics company which made Ash would go on to be contracted by Marvel to do the Marvel Knights Imprint and the company would eventually fold as Quesada moved up to become Marvel Comic’s Editor in Chief. Now Quesada is probably too entrenched in Marvel to bother revisiting his creator owned stuff. That said I think I heard they weren’t entirely on board with the direction the script was taking early on anyway.

  • Billy Batz

    Otomo is the MAN! His storyboards are some of the best! So glad you helped bring Akira and other Japanese animation to the attention of the U.S. with your Streamline Pictures efforts! Everyone must thank Jerry Beck and Carl Macek for championing animation from around the world!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      At least someone here appreciates what Jerry and Carl did for us back in the day.