Sunday, June 30th marks the first ever Anime Day at VIFF! We are excited to showcase the following four feature-length films, a blend of new releases and well-loved classics encompassing sci-fi, fantasy, and epic adventure. Tickets are available individually, or as an all-day pass at viff.org .
First up is Penguin Highway, the directorial debut from Hiroyasu Ishida. Young book-smart Aoyama finds himself drawn into a bizarre local phenomenon where penguins start appearing in his home town out of nowhere. While others can only act confused, Aoyama is determined to deduce his way through a thoroughly unpredictable mystery that happens to intertwine with a local dental assistant who has recently caught his fancy.
Next is the wonderful, otherworldly Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn. An epic quest narrative with a wild fantasy setting in which a mischievous 12-year-old orphan Riko sets out to descend through the multiple depths of a vast, gaping volcano (structured a little like Dante’s Inferno) in the company of a robot boy she names Reg, after a beloved lost dog. Some mature content.
Third on the docket is the Vancouver theatrical premiere of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, featuring a classic English language dub produced by Ocean Studios here in Vancouver. Based on a classic sci-fi story by Yasutaka Tsutsui (Paprika), it follows Makoto Konno, who has discovered the ability to “time-leap” and relive specific moments over and over again. However, while she uses her power frivolously, she soon discovers that this creates consequences for the people she loves, and that she only has a limited number of leaps to set things right.
Finally, Anime Day is capped off by the critically-acclaimed classic Millennium Actress. The second film from the late Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika), Millennium Actress is returning to theatres in a restored version. An obsessed TV reporter tracks down a prolific and reclusive actress, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has agreed to a rare interview. The story she tells blurs the lines between fiction and reality, as her interviewers are drawn into dizzying, intertwining narratives that blend Chiyoko’s harrowing life with the characters she played on the screen.