Taiwanese animation wins grand prize at Tokyo Festival

On Happiness Road, 2017

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Taiwan’s animation film “On Happiness Road” (幸福路上) on Monday won the Grand Prize in the feature film category at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2018, one of Japan’s most important anime festivals.

At the awards ceremony in Tokyo, Sung Hsin-yin (宋欣穎), director of the 109-minute animation, expressed deep gratitude to everyone who has been involved in the production.

“It’s very difficult to make animation film, but we have earned acclamation,” she said.

Sung Hsin-yin (宋欣穎), director of the 109-minute animation won the Grand Prize in the feature film category at the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2018 with the animation film “On Happiness Road.” (Photo courtesy of CNA)

When presenting the award to Sung, Doug Sweetland, a veteran animator and co-director of Storks, an American 3D comedy animation produced in 2016, said that in “On Happiness Road,” he saw a film that reflected the best that was possible in animation.

Sweetland said that the film smoothly transcends multiple generations and is full of imagination, inspiring viewers to think about the meaning of life.

The film depicts the story of a Taiwanese girl, born in 1975, who grew up during the country’s transition to democracy. She later moved to the United States where she worked, but returns to her family’s home in Taiwan after her grandmother’s death and started to contemplate the meaning of life, home, and what happiness is.

On Happiness Road, 2017

The animation has been touted as a film that brings back the memories most Taiwanese people have about four decades of development in politics, economics and culture on the island.

According to TAAF, a total of 731 works from 58 countries and regions were submitted for the feature and short film competitions this year.

The other three films nominated in the feature animation category were: “The Oddsockeaters” by Galina Miklinova from the Czech Republic; “Kikoriki: Deja Vu” by Denis Chernov from Russia; and “Have a Nice Day” by Liu Jian from China.

(By Chiang Pei-ling and Shih Hsiu-chuan)