The IOC today announced a collaboration with Tokyo-based Studio Ponoc to create an animated short film inspired by the Olympic values, to be released next year in the lead-up to the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020. The project aims to share Olympic messages of hope and peace with a broad international audience, particularly young people, and to forge a powerful artistic legacy for animation fans across the globe.
“The core values of Olympism are powerful and ever more relevant in today’s world,” said Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH). “As the Tokyo 2020 Games approach, we wanted to explore animation as a creative vehicle to express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect from a different aesthetic and narrative perspective. With a focus on universal topics relevant to humanity, this hand-drawn film will not only contribute to the excitement in the build up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but also inspire future generations.”
We wanted to explore animation as a creative vehicle to express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect from a different aesthetic and narrative perspective.Francis Gabet Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage
The work commissioned by the IOC to Studio Ponoc falls within the scope of the international Arts & Culture Programmes, led by the OFCH, to engage artists to reinterpret the links between sport and culture that are fundamental to the Olympic Movement, and to help foster a fresh and dynamic dialogue with society around the Olympic values. The Arts & Culture Programmes were set up within the framework of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, notably its recommendation 26, which aims to further strengthen the blending of sport and culture at the Olympic Games and in-between.<
Following his production of the Academy Award®-nominated animated feature films The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013) and When Marnie Was There (2014), Yoshiaki Nishimura founded Studio Ponoc in 2015. He commented: “Animation is a magical visual storytelling medium that communicates across cultures. We are delighted to take on the challenge, together with the OFCH, of creating a beautiful hand-drawn animated film that will speak to the world, in particular children, encouraging all to embrace life with a peaceful and tolerant spirit in their hearts, regardless of the challenges they may face.”
The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage
The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage is the IOC’s driving force behind the international promotion and dissemination of Olympism in the fields of culture, heritage and education.
The Foundation’s Heritage Management acquires, documents, preserves and shares Olympic heritage with a wider audience; The Olympic Museum is the leading storyteller which showcases the Olympic ideal and legacy of cultural artefacts; the Olympic Studies Centre is the worldwide source of reference for Olympic knowledge; and the International Programmes Unit develops and implements special initiatives and programmes on Olympic art, culture and education in collaboration with international partners in the Olympic family and beyond.
Studio Ponoc, an animation studio founded by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, specializes in beautiful hand-drawn and hand-painted animated films to be enjoyed by children and parents together, and general audiences, around the world. “Ponoc” comes from the Croatian word ponoć meaning “midnight” or the beginning of a new day. The studio produced and released worldwide director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Mary and The Witch’s Flower in summer 2017 as its first animated feature film. In 2018, the studio created a new production label – “Ponoc Short Films Theatre” releasing Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1, the first collection of short animated films from Studio Ponoc, a grand fantasy adventure, a moving human drama of love, and an action spectacle.
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For other inquiries, please contact:
Anja Wodsak, Arts & Culture Manager
Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage
+41 (0) 21 621 6679