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Los Angeles, CA — PLATFORM, the internationally acclaimed animation festival, will present renowned Japanese artist Katsuhiro Otomo with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, October 27th at 9:30pm. The evening will begin with an exclusive screening of Otomo’s new short film, Combustible, followed by a conversation with animation historian Jerry Beck and then the award ceremony.

“It is an incredibly great honor for PLATFORM to welcome Katsuhiro Otomo to the United States after so many years absence,” said Festival Director Irene Kotlarz. “We are delighted to present him with our first Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his unique and original contribution to the art of animation. In recognizing an artist whose origins are deeply rooted in manga, PLATFORM continues its polemical mission to break boundaries into other art forms and embrace a concept of animation that represents the widest possible range of influences.”

The PLATFORM International Animation Festival is a three-day event that takes place in Los Angeles October 26-28, 2012. In collaboration with CalArts and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), PLATFORM will showcase exciting and innovative new animated films and talent while also celebrating animation’s heritage through special screenings and informative panel discussions.

Katsuhiro Otomo is internationally recognized as one of the leading creative forces in modern Japanese anime and manga. Otomo began his career writing and drawing manga in the 1970s, then entered Japan’s animation industry as a character designer in the early 1980s. His epic story Akira was published as manga from 1982-88 and then adapted into a feature film released in 1988, which Otomo also wrote and directed. Akira has become a classic example of science fiction and a game-changing work of anime, inspiring such modern day Hollywood filmmakers as Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan and Andy & Lana Wachowski. In 1987, Otomo made several short films that were included in the compilation features Robot Carnival and Neo-Tokyo (Manie-Manie). He wrote the screenplay adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001), and he has also directed several live-action movies. In 2005, Otomo was awarded the honor of Chevalier, Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Minister of Culture.

Otomo continues to write and draw comics and to direct his own animated features, including Memories (1995), Steamboy (2004), and most recently, Combustible (2012). The story of Combustible takes place in the city of Edo in the 18th Century. Owaka, the daughter of a merchant family, and her childhood friend, Matsukichi. are drawn to each other, but Matsukichi has been disowned by his family, and is working for the city fire brigade. Meanwhile, negotiations begin for the arrangement of Owaka’s marriage. Unable to let go of her thoughts of Matsukichi, Owaka’s mad emotions stir up a massive inferno that razes Edo. By chance encounter, the two meet again amidst the fires. An epic spectacle, Combustible is ignited by the traditional style of Japanese painting as inspiration, and its combination of hand-drawn and 3D CG animation fosters a fresh and original visual expression for the film.

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, PLATFORM is honored to have additional support from its founding sponsor Cartoon Network, as well as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Television Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood.

Ticket & Venue Information:
The 2012 PLATFORM International Festival takes place at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). REDCAT is located at 631 West 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 – in downtown Los Angeles at the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure and in adjacent lots.

Tickets for the Otomo evening program are $20 for the general public, $16 for members. Tickets for all other PLATFORM programs are $10 for the general public, $8 for members. Discounts are available for multi-program purchases. Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800, at www.redcat.org, or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon–6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.

PLATFORM is part of the ongoing Jack H. Skirball ‘Film at REDCAT’ series of screenings and presentations by independent film and video makers from around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.redcat.org/category/redcat-event-type/film-video

PLATFORM is an internationally acclaimed animation festival founded in 2007 with the support of founding sponsor Cartoon Network. Its first major event was held in Portland, Oregon as a platform for artists, the biggest animation festival in the US, and the first multi-platform animation festival in the world. Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, PLATFORM is honored to have additional support from its founding sponsor Cartoon Network, as well as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Television Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood.

REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents a dynamic and international mix of innovative visual, performing and media arts year round. Located inside the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles, REDCAT houses a modular theater, 3,000-square-foot gallery space and lounge. Through performances, exhibitions, screenings, and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT continues the tradition of the California Institute of the Arts, its parent organization, by encouraging experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse.

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