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American Cinematheque Offers 1st Festival of Japanese Anime

The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood will present the 1st Festival of Japanese Anime from May 2-14, 2003. It features a cross-section of the newest and most challenging work from Japan, including the U.S. premieres of THE CAT RETURNS, the mondo-insane TAMALA2010 A PUNK CAT IN SPACE, the lovely fable PRINCESS ARETE, the long-awaited three-part anthology film MEMORIES, and Miramax Films POKÉMON 5, plus sneak previews of as-yet-unreleased episodes from cult-hit series including CRUSH GEAR TURBO, AURA BATTLER DUNBINE, BRIGADOON, SCRYED, PLEASE, TEACHER, YOURE UNDER ARREST, DNA2, READ OR DIE, RAHXEPHON, PARASITE DOLLS and a very special sneak peak at THE MATRIX-inspired THE ANIMATRIX, with all nine episodes shown for the first time.

The Festival will also feature special one-night tributes to legendary manga artist Rumiko Takahashi (RANMA 1/2, INU YASHA), erotic fantasy master Toshio Maeda (LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND, DEMON WARRIOR KOJI), lost anime gems like JACK & THE BEANSTALK and special late-night programs of hentai adult animation.

Director Hiroyuki Morita and producer Nozomu Takahashi will appear in person for the U.S. premiere of THE CAT RETURNS (NEKO NO ONGAESHI) on May 2, 2003 at 7:00 pm. A major hit in Japan last year, THE CAT RETURNS is the latest from Studio Ghibli, the legendary team behind SPIRITED AWAY, PRINCESS MONONOKE and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. The story is about The King of Cats and his servants who thanks the 17-year-old Haru for saving a cat's life by transporting the teenage girl from modern Japan to the Kingdom of the Cats. The creators are slated to answer questions following the screening.

The series was complied by Dennis Bartok, Fred Patten and Chris D, with the special assistance of Mutsuko Iwasa and is sponsored by the Japan Foundation. Screenings will be in the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic Egyptian at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. For a complete schedule of screenings, visit