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Keiichi Hara wins Asiagraph 2015 Tsumugi Prize

November 20, 2015

Director Keiichi Hara received the Tsumugi Prize at Asiagraph 2015 for his latest animated feature film, Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai.

Asiagraph is a joint event of science, art and exhibition where Asian researchers and creators active on the front line globally gather together, present most advanced technology and exhibit their works in order to further develop the Asian diverse and unique cultures and the Asian excellent and unique digital content created through combination of art and technology.

Each year, the Digital Content Expo, in conjunction with the Asiagraph computer graphic art and digital content festival, grants the Tsumugi Prize in recognition of individuals who have made valuable contributions to digital art, and the Takumi Prize for individuals who contribute to the development of digital content.

Keiichi Hara was born in 1959. He worked extensively on popular family and children TV animated shows, such as Doraemon and especially Crayon Shin-chan, for which he initially served as episodic director under Mitsuru Hongo from 1992, and later as series director from 1996 to 2004. He also scripted ten Crayon Shin-chan movies, directing six. The 2001 Shin-chan franchise movie, entitled Crayon Shin-chan: Impetuous! The Adult Empire Strikes Back earned wide critical praise, and raised his profile. The following year's Crayon Shin-chan: Brilliant! The Great Battle of the Warring States was recommended by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and won five awards in Japan. Hara then shifted to independent filmmaking, pursuing more personal projects. International recognition came with Japan Academy Prize-winning Summer Days with Coo (2007) and especially with Colorful (2010), greeted with the Jury's Special Distinction and the Audience Award at Annecy 2011. Both movies received theatrical distribution in France and other countries. Hara admires classic Japanese filmmakers such as Yasujiro Ozu and Keisuke Kinoshita. To the latter, he dedicated his first live-action movie in 2013, Dawn of a Filmmaker: The Keisuke Kinoshita Story. His latest directorial effort, Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai, focusing on ukiyo-e master Hokusai's little-known yet highly talented daughter O-Ei, was awarded at Annecy, Fantasia, Sitges and Bucheon, and was described by French newspaper Le Monde as "a lesson of elegance."

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