The Nippon Connection "Exchanging Tracks Project" is an ambitious project
that excellently expresses a new kind of cultural exchange as it is initiated
and wanted by Nippon Connection. Last year, Nippon Connection presented
a CD project. Sounds from the Tokyo Metro System were brought to Europe
to inspire German artists such as Losoul (Playhouse), Turner
(Ladomat) to create songs. On their last trip to Japan Marion
Klomfass and Holger Ziegler (directors of the festival) took the CD back to
Japan and asked filmmakers to create movies which are in turn inspired by
these tracks. The result of were 7 short movies by directors from the Japan
Academy of Visual Arts.
But Nippon Connection offered more than new digital productions or the
latest Tokyo street fashion: in the "Nippon Retro" section, which was held
for the second time in cooperation with the German Filmmuseum Frankfurt, early Japanese animation was presented.
As the popularity of anime is growing, Nippon Connection wanted to show its
long and impressive tradition. A selection of Japanese war and pre-war
anime was juxtaposed with American propaganda cartoons. The silent
movies were accompanied by DJ Jorg Ritter who also did
the VJing at the opening night party.
Making your way through the festival center, past the exhibition of the
japanese artists collective Pheromone, you could get to the screenings of
"Nippon Digital". In this section, a selection of the best Japanese digital
productions from underground to big budget films were shown. No genre
boundaries were heeded, here you could find everything from animation to
student productions, documentaries and shorts. Nippon Connection has
developed strong ties to several acclaimed festivals, institutions and
projects, such as the Tokyo film school Eigabigakkou, the short film
compilation "Cop Festival", the Yamagata International and the PIA Film
Festival. As a special highlight, animes by Academy Award winner Koji
Yamamura were presented. Free lectures by the European Festival for
Production and Visual Effects eDIT/VES invited the
audience to deepen their understanding of anime.
Pheromone is a group of young artists which
have been working together since 2001. The Pheromones are making
products by surplus things of cities which they collect from the streets such
as ads of mobile companies, energy drinks... Those ads are sewed into
bags, shirts, etc. which were sold on the Festival. But not only the products
they do, but also the process itself is a big part of their project.