The Japan Image Council has opened its call for applications for the Animation Artist In Residence Tokyo 2015. If you’ve had a film that has screened in an international festival or exhibition, I strongly encourage you to apply. As a previous resident of the program, I frequently find myself thinking about my wonderful experience in the residency. With each passing year, the amount of applicants for the residency has grown significantly, so I can only assume the competition will be even tougher this year. Even so, this opportunity is too great to pass up, especially since the application is free.

Alongside the prospect of time and funding to work on your own project, the residency is built for those who want to experience and discover the works of Japanese animation artists, both old and new. Meeting independent directors, interacting with student filmmakers, and visiting animation studios were frequent occurrences throughout the residency. The amount of cross-pollination that occurs between animators from different parts of the world is excellent, and can lead to great leaps in personal artistic development. The work that you will be able to see, be it animation or any other art form, will likely change your perspective in many ways for the better.

There are only a few stressful days throughout the residency in which you must present your work in front of sizable audiences, but if you put in the time on your project, this won’t be an issue. The amount of blissful days are far more numerous, many of which I spent walking through parks and getting lost in the mazes of residential streets. Much of your time will be at your own disposal during the residency.

So take that short film you’ve been planning for years or plan a new one right now, follow all of the guidelines provided on the JAPIC website, and submit your application. Even if you aren’t accepted, it is still an opportunity to take another look at the projects that have been sitting on your shelf and breathe new life into them.

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