Video by Tokyo 2020 on YouTube
Animated film inspired by Olympic values set for worldwide release
The short animated film “Tomorrow’s Leaves”, which opened the Annecy International Animated Film Festival last month, is all set for a worldwide release on 23 July, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Commissioned by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH), and produced by the Academy Award-nominated Yoshiaki Nishimura of Studio Ponoc, the film provides a fresh perspective on the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.
The hand-drawn film by Japanese animation company Studio Ponoc will have a special limited theatrical release in Tokyo, Japan, and worldwide distribution from 23 July 2021 onwards.
Following its world premiere at the opening ceremony of the Annecy Festival 2021 in France, the world’s largest animated film festival, “Tomorrow’s Leaves” will now be available for viewing around the world.
“We wanted to celebrate the Olympic spirit with an entirely new audience, especially young people, through a different kind of artistic project,” said Angelita Teo, Director of the OFCH.
“To lead up to the cultural programme at Tokyo 2020, we decided to explore animation to express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. This film is a work of art to inspire future generations, with a message about the importance of collaboration and care for the environment.”
The film carries a meaningful message about solidarity, collaboration and the environment. It features five children from diverse lands, who are dispatched as envoys to find out why the annual arrival of leaves carries a message of concern. The envoys travel to a distant land, quietly guided by tiny spirits. Each envoy has its own strengths and vulnerabilities. They compete and support each other as they draw closer to their destination, facing treacherous terrain and difficult conditions. Through athletic challenges and the uniting power of sport, they discover the positive fundamental values that come with playful competition. Together, the envoys approach the source of the message and try to restore life to a future in peril.
This commission is in keeping with the OFCH’s mission to offer opportunities to artists to create new works that explore the relationship between art, sport and the Olympic values, through its International Arts and Culture Programmes. “Tomorrow’s Leaves” shares messages of hope, peace and solidarity, and leaves a powerful artistic legacy for animation fans across the globe.
“Studio Ponoc has made this short film keeping in mind children’s future or ‘tomorrow’. It may be difficult to screen the film in many countries currently, but thanks to the internet, I am grateful that we can deliver the film to children not only in Japan but around the world,” said producer Yoshiaki Nishimura.
Among the limited theatrical releases worldwide will be special screenings at the Tokyo Skytree, a stunning aerial location in the Tobu Tower, one of the most famous tourist spots in Tokyo, as well as free screenings at the United Cinema in Toyosu near Tokyo, between 23 and 29 July.
Other film festivals that have expressed interest in screening the film include the BFI London Film Festival, the Cinekid Festival 2021 in Amsterdam and the Newport Beach Film Festival in California.
Director: Yoshiyuki Momose
Music: Takatsugu Muramatsu
Producer: Yoshiaki Nishimura
Building the Legacy – Beyond 2020-
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government promote initiatives that focus on the Tokyo 2020 Games legacy to use the Tokyo 2020 Games as a catalyst to further cultivate Tokyo as a mature city.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a yearlong postponementof the Games, but the city has worked hard to make the most of this invaluable“Plus One” opportunity to host an event that is safe and secure.
In order to tell in an easy-to-understand manner the legacy created by multifaceted efforts in both tangible and intangible in preparation for the Games,we have released a booklet called “Building the Legacy – Beyond 2020-”
You can visit the ‘Deutsches Haus Digital’ here.
Source: The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
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Press release provided by Japan House London
JAPAN HOUSE LONDON PRESENTS TOKYO 1964: DESIGNING TOMORROW EXHIBITION
Japan House London opens Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow, on 5 August 2021 to explore the revolutionary cultural and design legacy behind the historic Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. The exhibition shares stories and artefacts never seen before in the UK and runs until 7 November 2021.
The 1964 Games were Japan’s first, large-scale engagement with the world after the Second World War. They presented a chance to tell a fresh story and showcase Japanese creativity and design thinking across the globe, an opportunity elevated by the 1964 Games being the first to be broadcast in colour on TV to a world-wide audience via satellite.
Japan’s hosting of the Games coincided with the country’s emergence as a global leader in technological innovation. Winning the bid to host the Games increased Japan’s newfound sense of confidence and creativity epitomized by innovations such as the high speed Tōkaidō Shinkansen, or ‘bullet train’, and elevated super-highways that dramatically transformed the urban landscape with ‘space age’ design through to Seiko’s 1,278 state-of-the-art timing devices that performed precisely without errors.
This optimistic and creative environment challenged and enabled Japanese architects and designers working on the 1964 Games to develop some of the most radical architectural and graphic design that has ever been created.
These designs still resonate and influence today, including:
- Sleek, Bauhaus-inspired modernist advertising posters created by the innovative design team led by award-winning graphic designer Kamekura Yūsaku.
- Specially devised pictograms that helped create a visual language to guide the largest ever number of visitors to Japan the country had ever seen.
- Striking national architecture for stadia, typified via the pioneering building design of the Olympic Memorial Tower and Yoyogi National Stadium amongst others.
- The pioneering use of technology at the Games. From the first colour broadcasts via a geostationary satellite to the split-second accuracy of precision timekeeping provided by Seiko.
Exhibits on display include:
- Original 1964 posters designed by Kamekura Yūsaku and the award-winning team of post-war designers, marking the first time that photography was used to promote an Olympic Games.
- Tickets, posters and the design guide itself which, for the first time in a worldwide sporting event, set out the visual brand including logotype, typography and the set of newly created pictograms.
- Architectural models showcasing the pioneering design of buildings such as the Olympic Memorial Tower by Ashihara Yoshinobu and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium by Tange Kenzō, the latter gaining the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize for its vast suspension roof design.
- Uniform designs from the Games, including a crafted furisode kimono with obi that were worn by those presenting medals at the awards ceremonies.
The majority of objects in the exhibition are generously loaned from the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum & Library in Japan – many of which will be displayed for the first time in the UK.
Kawamura Hiroyuki, Director, Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum, said: “I am very pleased that we have this opportunity to share our collection in the UK in partnership with Japan House London. Please enjoy our major exhibits including the original posters designed by Kamekura Yūsaku and the models of Yoyogi National Gymnasium designed by Tange Kenzō.”
Simon Wright, Director of Programming, Japan House London said: “This exhibition shows how the design project for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, the first to be held in Asia, was revolutionary in creating a unified language by which to communicate the Games. It became the blueprint for subsequent major international sporting events. It illustrates Japan’s powerful emergence on the world stage after the dark years of the Second World War and how this Japanese design vision has influenced, and still influences, so much of what is now.”
A dedicated programme of events accompanies the exhibition including a look at the remarkable volleyball win by the ‘Witches of the Orient’.
Contributions to this exhibition, in the form of additional loaned items, have also come from The Seiko Museum Ginza in Japan and Central Japan Railway Company and the National Paralympic Heritage Trust in the UK.
Public Ticket Information
Tickets must be pre-booked online: www.japanhouselondon.uk
Full public information including Covid compliance and safety information can be found at: www.japanhouselondon.uk
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