The JAPANIME 02 Festival will open with the Australian premiere of Princess Mononoke director Hayao Miyazaki's highly-anticipated masterpiece SPIRITED AWAY - the highest grossing theatrical release ever in Japan, and the first animated feature to win the prestigious Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival. SPIRITED AWAY screens courtesy of Niche Pictures.

JAPANIME 02 has also secured the Australian premiere of Perfect Blue director Satoshi Kon's MILLENNIUM ACTRESS, which is the first foreign language animated feature to be picked up for distribution by U.S. studio Dreamworks. Other highlights of the festival include Australian premieres of the hugely popular COWBOY BEBOP MOVIE, one of the most entertaining anime features of recent times; UTENA, the latest pinup girl on the gay and lesbian film festival circuit; and PATLABOR 3, PRINCESS ARITE. The fully restored and digitally re-mastered AKIRA - the film credited with introducing anime to legions of fans in the West. The re-mastered AKIRA features a new translation that is closer in meaning and tone to the original Japanese version.

The increasing use of technology in animation is evident in a number of films, such as the fully digital CGI features BLUE SUBMARINE No 6, AURORA, and the stunning 2D/3D animated fantasy A TREE OF PALME. A TREE OF PALME is fresh from a midnight session in the Melbourne International Film Festival last month.

JAPANIME 02 also features sessions on the work of independent directors who defy the corporate ethic of Japan, showcasing the work of directors such as Koji Yamamura. Plus a program of films based on the work of Rumiko Takahashi, the most popular manga writer in Japan and one of the nation's richest women.

These are just some of the films in an outstanding program of over 30 features and shorts, plus forums and guests. JAPANIME 02 will also have four family sessions on the weekend, including nostalgia sessions with old favourites such as PRINCE PLANET.

As in 2000, Sydney based animation producer Deborah Szapiro is curating JAPANIME 02, and is proudly presented by Dendy Cinemas, creating a unique festival that is the largest and most contemporary screening program of animated feature films to take place in Australia.

Melbourne: Kino Cinemas - October 30 - November 4
Sydney: Dendy Opera Quays - October 16 - 21
Brisbane: Dendy Cinemas - October 24 - 28

Already planning and got the money to go and see ALL anime films. Just hope my timetable allows this. Amazing movies will be shown here. My top fav I wanna see will be Patlabor3, Cowboy Bebop, Akira & Blue Submarine No.6