Anime is Japan’s most celebrated cultural export, but what exactly is it, what distinguishes Japanese animation from that of other countries, and how did it evolve into the multi-billion yen international industry it is today? Special Highlights Section programmer Dr. Jasper Sharp, anime authority Helen McCarthy and London International Animation Festival founder Nag Vladermersky take a look at a hundred years of anime and at the vast field of independent animation that lies beyond it.

LEAFF will also travel to UWE Bristol, School of Animation for a talk about the centenary of Japanese animation as well as the future. Programmer Jasper Sharp will attend the talk, open to students of the School and speakers will include Kieron Argo, an animation programme manager and Ben Mitchell, an animations director.  



Jasper Sharp is a critic, author and curator with a special interest in Japanese cinema, and the co-founder of the website Midnight Eye, the foremost publication on Japanese cinema in the English language.

His book publications include The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film (2003, with Tom Mes), Behind the Pink Curtain (2008), The Historical Dictionary of Japanese Film (2011), and he is the co-director of the documentary The Creeping Garden (2014, with Tim Grabham).



Helen McCarthy has been researching and writing about Japanese animation since 1981. She has written 13 books on the subject including Anime! A Beginners Guide To Japanese Animation (1993), Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation (1999), The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917 (2001, with Jonathan Clements), 500 Essential Anime You Must Own (2008) and The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga (2009).



Nag Vladermersky is the founder, director and programmer of the London International Animation Festival (LIAF) in the UK. Over 14 years LIAF has grown to become the UK’s largest animation festival annually screening 300 animated films from more than 30 countries over 10 days and nights in several London venues.