The official Twitter account of the 1st Niigata International Animation Film Festival announced on Wednesday the world premiere of Yamanaka Sadao ni Sasageru Manga Eiga Nezumikozō Jirokichi (Nezumikozō Jirokichi: A Manga Film Dedicated to Sadao Yamanaka), a film short by director Rintaro (Galaxy Express 999, Metropolis) which will play at the film festival on March 20. This is Rintaro‘s first new directorial work in 14 years.
The 25-minute “silent animation” film depicts the behind-the-scenes story of the Nezumikozō Jirokichi – Edo no Maki (Nezumikozo Jirokichi – Edo Chapter) film by Sadao Yamanaka – a film director who died at 28 in 1938 – and Yamanaka’s efforts to produce the film. Yamanaka spurred the Japanese film industry’s transition from silent films to talkies.
Yamanaka’s Nezumikozō Jirokichi – Edo no Maki film is about the titular character Nezumikozō Jirokichi, a thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, and a townswoman named Osuzu, who leads a tough life with her small child after her husband died.
Rintaro directed the Yamanaka Sadao ni Sasageru Manga Eiga “Nezumikozō Jirokichi” silent animation film at GENCO, Studio M2, and French animation studio Miyu Productions. Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) designed the characters, and Toshiyuki Honda (Metropolis,Tokyo Babylon) composed the music. Mami Koyama voices the film’s benshi (live narrator for silent films).
The 1st Niigata International Animation Film Festival will run in Japan from March 17-22, at the Niigata Civil Plaza.