Read This If You Want to Make Cartoons While Living in Tokyo for Free

The Japan Image Council (JAPIC) has announced that they are now accepting applications for their “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014″ program.

The project, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-cho/Government of Japan) and run by the Japan Image Council since 2010, is a residency that “aims to provide three outstanding young animation artists from around the world with an opportunity to come to Tokyo and create new works while directly interacting with Japanese animation culture.”

The artists selected will spend 70 days in Tokyo, between January 7 and March 17th, 2014. The program will provide travel expenses, living allowance, and rental accommodations, as well as the opportunity to interact with the Japanese animation community. You can read the report from this year’s program to get a sense of what will happen.

As always, there’s a catch, and this residency has one, too: you’ve got to be good. The three artists who were in the last program are all excellent filmmakers—Caleb Wood (United States), Elli Vuorinen (Finland), and Emma de Swaef (Belgium). Applicants, who must be between the ages of 20-35, need to have had one of their projects screened at an international film festival/exhibition and must submit a plan for a new animated work that is at least three minutes in length.

The application deadline for this year’s program is September 9th, 2013. To apply, go to JAPIC’s application page.


  • Daniel Brown

    Was getting interested until I got to the end. Ah wells the best of luck to those who do end up getting this opportunity

  • Robert Kohr

    22 year old me would have loved this, I really wish they had this in the early 2000′s would have been an amazing experience, if you can get in :/

  • elliot Lobell

    one day…

    • Animator606432

      Haha, that’s what I keep telling myself.

  • Inkan1969

    Really? Japan is actually permitting foreigners to immigrate to the country to work?

    • Lil_Nemesis

      This has been happening for years, particularly for teaching.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I know a guy who did that a decade ago through the “JET” program, today he lives in Kofu with his wife and baby daughter. He lived the dream!

  • Lulu

    If only I were good :(

  • what?

    Complete a 3 min film in 70 days? They better not think you’ll be doing it all by yourself….You’ll kill yourself trying to do anything full color. You won’t have any time to actually enjoy being in Tokyo if that’s how it’s set up.

    • AmidAmidi

      Did you actually bother to read the application rules or do you just like hearing the sound of your own voice? If your goal was to contribute nothing to the discussion, then you succeeded.

    • Avid Lebon

      I don’t think they need to work on it while they are there- But It can be done. My friend Josh made a seven and a half minute animation in 18 days for TOFA that is amazing quality, and you can see it yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpSjF5UQUDQ so without a doubt that feat can be done.

  • Mike

    I read the application and wasn’t entirely sure if one needed to have conversational Japanese skills or whether it was ok to speak just good English.

    • Daniel Brown

      Reading it, it sounded like you needed to either speak English or Japanese, since English is better understood in Japan compared to someone who might only speak French etc.

  • slowtiger

    This comes 20 years too late for me. Good luck to the participants.

  • Who Knows…

    ages 20-35…

    International aegism (I’m not an animator, aegism just bugs me).

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I just turned 36, I already can tell I’m off the hook here.

  • http://www.blaineanderin.com/ Erin Bogar

    Sounds like a very cool opportunity! With Akihabara and Ghibili Museum, Tokyo is an animators paradise.