Khara, Dwango launch anime shorts series

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Japan’s Dwango and Studio Khara are launching Animator Expo, a weekly series of anime shorts, which aims to introduce new animation talent to global audiences.

Studio Khara, founded by anime director Hideaki Anno, will provide production support for the series, while Dwango, which operates the giant NicoNico video site, will distribute the films for free on digital platforms. The plan is to make an initial 30 animation shorts of five to six minutes in length.

Anno, the creator of the Evangelion franchise, announced the initiative at the on-going Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), where he is being honoured through a retrospective ‘The World Of Hideaki Anno’.

The first short in the series is novelist Otaro Maijo’s The Dragon Dentist, which is premiering at TIFF before streaming on November 7.

Otaro wrote and directed the short film, while other crew includes animation director Kazuya Tsurumaki, character designer Yasuyuki Kosaka and animation character designer Yoshimichi Kameda.

Anno and Dwango president Nobuo Kawakami are serving as executive producers of the series. Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki created the title logo, which was coloured by his fellow Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki.