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 th 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.