08 Oct 2023

Acclaimed Japanese Director Keiichi Hara Is Coming to Animest.18

Renowned Japanese director Keiichi Hara will visit Romania for the 18th edition of the Animest International Animation Film Festival (October 6-15). One of the best anime creators working today, Keiichi hara will take part in Q&As at the dedicated retrospective screenings and will also facilitate a masterclass, sharing secrets from behind the scenes of the projects that brought him international fame.


Miho Maruo, script master on all of Keiichi’s projects, will join the director in Bucharest. To honor our two amazing guests, we’ve dedicated Sunday, October 8, to Japanese culture, and prepared a special event for you all at the Eforie Cinematheque, Japan Day, together with IZANAGI – Japanese Film Festival.


The Animest.18 schedule and tickets are available on the Eventbook platform.


Before taking the world of anime by storm, Keiichi Hara worked in advertising and then in television. Professional success came soon after graduating from the Tokyo Designer Gakuin College: he got a job in a production studio and quickly joined the creative teams of several very popular Japanese animated TV shows. Examples include phenomenal productions such as Doraemon, for which he directed six episodes, and Crayon Shin-chan, for which he wrote and directed countless episodes between 1993 and 2005. Some of them won him a series of awards in Japan.


Keiichi Hara’s first independently directed film was Summer Days with Coo (2007), which enjoyed an enthusiastic reception in Japan. However, the production that attracted the director’s first Annecy Festival prizes and put him on the definitive list of the world’s most-loved anime creators was Colorful (2010). This film marks an important facet of the director’s artistic discourse, who often uses his platform to draw attention to the authorities’ careless attitude towards depressed teenagers, whose numbers are growing in Japan.


In 2015, Keiichi Hara returned to the Annecy competition with the feature film Miss Hokusai, depicting the life and work of the inimitable Japanese artist and ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai – the creator of The Great Wave off Kanagawa – through the eyes of his daughter, O-Ei. Art and animation lovers, save a seat for this unique tale set in 1814 Japan, which we’re showing on Saturday, October 7, at 9 PM, at Eforie Cinematheque! The same venue will host The Wonderland (2019), the story of Akane, a girl with no self-confidence. Right before her birthday, she meets the mysterious alchemist Hippocrates and their student Pipo, who’re on a mission to save the world. Together, they set out towards Wonderland, a fantastic world that Akane finds she has to save. The film continues to explore the director's fascination with the world of the supernatural, a main theme throughout his career.


Keiichi Hara’s latest work, included this year in the International Feature Film Competition at Animest, is the also fantastical Lonely Castle in the Mirror, which you can watch alongside the director on Monday, October 9, at Eforie Cinematheque. Six teenagers escape drab daily life through the mirrors in their rooms, that become portals to an enchanted castle, where the adventure is about to begin


Lastly, the Japanese director will discuss what inspires him and the way animes fit into the world of cinema, internationally, during his masterclass on Sunday, October 8, at 4 PM, at the Cervantes Institute.


October 8: Japan Day @ Animest.18

After meeting Keiichi Hara, join our celebration in partnership with IZANAGI – Japanese Film Festival! Stop by the main hall of Eforie Cinematheque to participate in workshops, talks and food sampling, and then, at 7 PM, watch The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes, director Tomohisa Taguchi’s production, awarded this year with the Paul Grimault Award at the Annecy International Film Festival. The film tells the tale of teenagers Kaoru and Anzu, who stumble upon a mysterious magical tunnel. Angst and adventure follow as the tunnel can grant any wish to those who enter it, but ages them dramatically in exchange. Would you dare enter?


The Animest Festival is a project of the Animest Association, co-financed by the MEDIA Program of the European Union and AFCN–the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.

The Animest.18 project is co-financed by the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB. The project does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bucharest Municipality or of ARCUB.

Institutional partners: The French Institute and the Embassy of France, Instituto Cervantes, The Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe-Institut, The Embassy of Japan, Japan Foundation, Liszt Institute – The Hungarian Cultural Centre, The Czech Centre, The National Film Centre of Latvia, IZANAGI – Japanese Film Festival.

Main media partner: Radio Guerrilla.

Media partners: Radio România Cultural, Itsy Bitsy FM, IQads, Zile și Nopți, Elle, Vice, Scena9, Observator Cultural, Agerpres, Ziarul Metropolis, Mindcraft Stories,, LiterNet, MovieNews, Cinefan, Cinefilia,, SuntPă, AIVImedia.hub, Munteanu.

Monitoring partner: mediaTRUST.