‘Sarusaberi: Miss Hokusai’ Wins ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ At APSA 2015

Keiichi Hara Director of 'Miss Hokusai' Asia Pacific Screen Award Winner 2015
Manga Classic ‘Sarusaberi: Miss Hokusai’ by Director Keiichi Hara wins the ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ Award At Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards are the most significant awards for the Asian region and ‘Miss Hokusai’ – directed by Keiichi Hara and produced by Kaiko Matushita and Asako Nishikawa – delighted the APSA jury this year, who said of the film:

“‘Miss Hokusai’ is a magical marriage of the divergent media of Japanese painting and film animation, blending the special qualities of both disciplines with poetic beauty and evocative storytelling.”

Sarusuberi is a historical manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura. The film adaptation focuses more centrally on the character O-Ei, played by Anne Watanabe. With a supporting cast of Yutaka Matuishige, Gaku Hamada, Kengo Kora, Jun Miho, Shion Shimizu, Michitaka Tsutsui, Kumiko Aso, Danshun Tatekawa, Miyu Irono, Akiko Yajima, and Keiji Fujiwara, the film premiered in North America at the Fantasia International Film Festival, and won three awards there – ‘Best Asian Feature Film,’ the ‘Satoshi Kon Award For Best Animated Feature Film For Excellence In Animation’ and the ‘Gold Audience Award For Best Animated Feature Film.’

Miss Hokusai won the Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Keiichi Hara won the Asiagaph 2015 Tsumugi Prize for the film, which was described by The Hollywood Reporter as “an extremely rich anime.”

Miss Hokusai Trailer

Keiichi Hara Biography

Born on 24th July 1959 in Tatebayashi, Gunma, Japan, Keiichi got his first job creating animation after graduating from Tokyo Designer Gakuin college. The story goes that he wandered away from an organised tour of an anime studio and pleaded with an artistic director to employ him, returning with drawing to prove his capacity a few days later and being taken on immediately. He remained there for eighteen months then joined Shin-Ei Animation having been talent spotted by the president of the company Keijiro Kurokawa.

He was Production Manager for on TV series ‘Kaibutsu-kun’ and Animation Director for ‘Doraemon’ and ‘Obake no Q Taro.’ His first time as Chief Director was for television series ‘Esper Mami’ A string of television and movie successes followed including: ’21 emon,’ ‘Crayon Shin-chan,’ (TV series and features) and ‘Hajimari no Michi.’

Keiichi Hara Filmography

2015 Miss Hokusai
2013 Dawn of a Filmmaker: The Keisuke Kinoshita Story
2010 Colourful
2007 Summer Days with Coo
2002 Kureyon Shinchan: Arashi o Yobu: Appare! Sengoku Daikassen
2000 Kureyon Shinchan: Arashi o Yobu Janguru!
1997 Kureyon Shin-chan ankoku tamatama daitsuiseki
1994 Crayon Shin-chan: Buriburi Ôkoku no hihô
1991 – 1992  21 Emon (TV Series) (chief director)
1991 Midori no mamorigami (Short)
1987-1989 Mami the Esper (TV Series) (chief director – 119 episodes)
1988 Esupâ Mami: Hoshizora no danshingu rôru (Short)

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