FILM AND NEW MEDIA
While film schools have been established primarily in advanced nations that realized the importance of film media as an industry, for various reasons this matter hasn't been given sufficient thought here in Japan.
It is a well-known fact that the establishment of film schools and measures for promotion has been emphasized in various Asian countries over the past decades, as a result of which Asia has produced an array of flourishing creators that have come to represent a totally new type of Asian talent on the international stage.
The Graduate School of Film and New Media is an autonomous graduate college without undergraduate course, offering masters and doctoral programs. Following the initial establishment of the Department of Film Production (2005), the Department of New Media and the Doctoral Program, the Department of Animation was added in 2008.
Film is a creator that spins contemporary stories out of images instead of words, functioning at the same time as a narrator who tells these stories. It is a vehicle for stories about the things to come, communicated on a level beyond language barriers. In its quality as a storyteller, film is often compared to literature, but the new expressive medium of visuals has in fact much greater propagation ability than words.
Animation is commonly considered as an extension of pictorial art. However, it is elemental to understand that there is a huge difference between painting, which has its raison d'etre in its motionlessness, and animation with its additional notion of time based on motion.
There is always the possibility, though, that the alluringly new world of artistic expression through film media gets so enslaved by the newness of the rapidly evolving media technology, that it loses sight of the basics of artistic expression.
The Japanese bunka, referring to education, and reading and writing skills, is a translation of the English term "culture". As we can understand from the existence of such expressions as "agriculture", the term's meaning includes a rather essential notion of "cultivation". It would be fair to say that art and culture fulfill an important role in social cultivation.
The nature of artistic expression lies in human beings instinctive resistance against "loneliness". We can perhaps interpret communication as a way of sharing that "loneliness" with others. To nurture outstanding artists means to encourage those individuals to face that "loneliness", and give them the confidence to sublimate it into artistic expression. In this sense, it is our wish that students "cultivate" themselves while enrolled at the graduate school, by exploring the depths of human nature through self-expression.
In an ideal world, that would mean for us that individual occurrences of artistic expression are transmitted to society via new media.