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A love story between two people that each have a secret to hide. One a pro-wrestler, the other a Nun. Losing never felt so good.
A love story between two people that each have a secret to hide. One a pro-wrestler, the other a Nun. Losing never felt so good. Now available for sale or rental within the United States and Canada on Vimeo.
A love story between two people that each have a secret to hide. One a pro-wrestler, the other a Nun. Losing never felt so good. Now available for sale or rental within the United States and Canada on Vimeo.
3,232 backers pledged $201,164 to help bring this project to life.

Reward Status and Festival Updates!

Hello everyone,

It's been a really busy past month and we apologize for not sending out an update for quite a while. We have been extremely busy coordinating the rewards fulfillment and organizing festival screenings. We have a whole bunch of updates so without further adieu here is our update!

Kick-Heart Masked Ball 

May 27th, 2013 (Japan Premiere)

Our first premiere was in Japan, home of the Kick-Heart team. It was a really fun event with live-painting and music from Oorutaichi! You can see more photos on our G+ page here.

Shorts Short Festival Tokyo 

June 2nd, 2013

Shortly after our premiere, we were invited to show at the Shorts Short Film Festival in Tokyo!

Annecy 2013 World Premiere

June 12th, 2013 (World Premiere)

We spent a week at the Annecy Film Festival with Kick-Heart in Official Competition. This is one of the highest honors within the global animation community. We had a great time and the response was very positive. We met some of our friends and backers who helped us along the way. All in all, it was a very inspiring festival. 

(Can you spot Yuasa-san and Eunyoung-san in the photo below?)

Yuasa-san was also invited to a breakfast interview the following day after our screening. Here is a video from the meeting.

Paris Premiere at Le Grand Rex 

June 17th, 2013 (Paris Premiere)

We had a sold out showing at Le Grand Rex-- one of Paris' classic movie theatres. We also showed the Making of Kick-Heart and the first episode of Tatami Galaxy with a Q&A with the staff of Kick-heart. We would like to give a special thanks to Olivier at for donating his time to making this event happen. 

Melbourne International Animation Festival

June 20th, 2013 7PM (Australian Premiere)

At the last second we managed to sneak Kick-Heart into the opening night gala of the Melbourne International Animation Festival!

Next up..

Anime Expo 2013

July 5th, 2013, 1:45pm (North American Premiere)

We will have a special Kick-Heart panel including Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi. The staff will be on hand to explain the process of making Kick-Heart.

For more info:

Academy Qualifying Screening

Fri-Sun, Jul. 12-14, 2013 West Los Angeles, CA

On the weekend of July 12th, we will be showing Kick-Heart in Los Angeles to qualify our film for Oscar consideration. Please check theater website for times. Did you know that Cartoon Brew currently has us #4 on the Oscar Watch list?

Japan Cuts 2013 

July 20th, 2013 1:00pm (New York Premiere)

For more info:

Animation Block Party

July 28th, 2013 2:00pm Brooklyn, New York

For more info:

Stay tuned for more upcoming festival announcements!

Rewards Update - "Where is my reward!?"

Understandably many backers have asked us, "Where is my reward!?" We apologize for the delay and wanted to give you the latest update on what is happening there:

  • We have delivered the final shipping invoice to Right Stuf, this means they can start packaging the rewards
  • All of the rewards (with the exceptions of the Masks, due to arrive this week) are at the shipping facility
  • We are very close to starting replication of the Bluray, DVD, and CDs. Probably within the next day or two.
  • We will begin sending out some of the digital rewards within the next 2 weeks (digital artwork, OST, Making of video etc). 
  • Our current target date to begin shipping July 15th, 2013. This will include the digital version of Kick-heart! International shipping will take a little more time due to some of the complexity of customs paperwork.
  • We will send out a notification to our backers once we have shipped the rewards.

"What happened? I thought you were going to ship in April?"

Well, we did our best to guess when we could deliver the rewards to the backers and we came up short. One thing that we found really hard to predict was the impact that festivals and the regulations had on the process. On this journey we have found that world of the Internet and the traditional film festival circuit are not completely compatible just yet. This process has been a learning experience to say the least. For example, our most recent delay is due to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences qualification process. We need to qualify it first before we can ship the film to the public. 

Another added complexity is the sheer amount of work that goes into organizing thousands of rewards to dozens countries around the world. This is something that is really hard to completely understand as a Kickstarter creator until you actually get to the point of shipping the rewards. 

The good news is that after the 15th, we will have finished all premieres and regulation requirements!  We want Kick-heart to be as successful as possible, and we feel that the festival circuit is one of the best ways to help Yuasa-san's work become recognized globally. So far, it seems to be working. We recently got press in one of France's top entertainment publications:

Anyhow, we are really close to shipping the rewards. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we learn from this experience. 

Team Kick-heart


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    1. Brent Lee on June 28, 2013

      And I was going to have it autographed at Anime Expo... Since he's coming...

    2. Vinzius
      on June 27, 2013

      @Top Gun : "who cares"? I do. It's not a problem of getting the product at a certain date or with delays. It's a matter of communicating correctly with your backers and it wasn't the case about this fact (ie people who don't give a fuck ; and didn't give any money ; who will/did see the film before us).

    3. Missing avatar

      Top Gun on June 27, 2013

      I don't have any problem with the reason for the delay. I can't speak for anyone else, but I contributed to this project because I'm not very satisfied by most of the prevailing trends of television anime over the past few years, and I want to see more of the wild imagination and creativity that made me an anime fan in the first place. I found Yuasa-san's series Kaiba to be utterly amazing, and I really wanted to see him work on a new project, so I happily chipped in, and fortunately it's paid off. I didn't back this with the demand that I get to see the finished product by a set date, so if people at a film festival halfway around the world get to watch it before I do, who cares? I know I'll get my copy in the end, and that's all I care about.

    4. S-Girl on June 25, 2013

      I have no issue with the festival screenings, but Anime Expo is really more of a fan convention in spite of how they label themselves -- and I find it ironic that on April 11th IG did state they were considering doing a showing but the assumption then was explained to us like this

      "Hey Backers- We are in the process of trying to nail down our backer premiere screening in LA. And we wanted to get some feedback from the backers who are interested in going. We basically have 2 choices: 1) We show the screening in June shortly after our world premiere at Annecy OR 2) We show it close to Anime Expo in July with Yuasa-san attending the screening. It would technically be the US premiere, however you would have already received your rewards and seen the movie at that point. I am leaning towards Anime Expo since Yuasa-san would be able to be join the screening and it might be convenient or people going to the expo from out of town. Let us know what you think."

      So both things appear to be happening and in this case, the conditions under which they were described to us flew out the window.

      If you're going to do future Kickstarters, don't do it this way. Tell folks you plan to do festivals and that you will figure out how to do the digital delivery before you even start taking pledges. Like others have said, I congratulate you on your success but will likely sit out on anything IG does again through Kickstarter.

    5. Vinzius
      on June 25, 2013

      As others, I'm REALLY pissed. I won't ever back another of your projects, if you ever do one. I gave you money so you can do this, and random people could see this before backers... JUST WHAT THE HELL !!!! disappointed. You say that you are frustrated ; if you were, you would have done something.

      You went to Paris to display it at "le grand rex", why didn't you tell backers?? I didn't remind seing something in the updates. Personally I would have come if I had been warned.

      I know Kickstarter isn't a store. I backed more than 60 projects and I know what I can expect from a project regarding delays. But there, it's just irrespect.

    6. Vince Vazquez
      on June 25, 2013

      Congratulations to the whole team! You guys deserve it; I know I can't speak for everyone here, but no worries about the delays. Animation takes time, even for shorts, and the premieres - you guys did it the right way; premiering in your home country first and heading off to festivals around the world whenever the opportunity could come up. The whole thing situation is wonderful, and I can't wait for July 15th so I can download my own copy :)

      Again, Congrats on all the success Production I.G.!

    7. Production I.G Creator on June 25, 2013

      @vamp1r0 Your frustrations are completely understandable and believe me when I say it's just as frustrating for us not being able to get it to you sooner. I know that all of the staff wants nothing more than to get the film to you as soon as possible. They are so grateful to all of the backers.

      We have definitely learned some things from all of this, that we hope to improve upon in the future. The festival situation is still unpredictable by nature, but I think we have been doing the best we can under the circumstances.

      As I mentioned in the earlier post, the traditional film festival circuit and the concept of the internet don't quite mix yet. Festivals are looking for premiere a film before the public has had a chance to bring more people into the festival or event. Premieres generate excitement for a film and help the film overall. If a film is online, than a festival is not as likely to promote and/or select the film. I think this is changing, but for now it's like this.

      In terms of the Academy regulations-- if our film at any point appears online before our theatrical run, then we will loss any chance of getting nominated for an Oscar. An Academy nomination is something that can greatly impact overall success of a film and is something worth waiting for.

      Last but not least, this goes to any backer anywhere: If you would like to work with your local theater (DCP required) to organize your own screening Kick-heart, please contact us and we would be happy see what is possible.

    8. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on June 25, 2013

      And let me be clear about nominations and everything: I will be happy to know that mr Yuasa will get academy nomination or something like that. But as I was saying I'm feeling I was betrayed and used, and not treated as a valuable partner. This situation with screenings and all can be addressed months before the actual release date, at the time when they applied to all of this festivals(the only indication of that was Annesy announcement). But at the current moment I'm reading the update that saying that people in goddamn australia(no offence here) has already seen the short and I'm not and won't be able for the next month or two(or even more, because who knows what other delays can occur). And that sucks.

    9. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on June 25, 2013

      "We did not pay for first viewing privileges"

      YOU didn't pay for first viewing, not US.

      The was a promise to give us the short as soon as it will be made. I understand delays that can happen to everyone(in fact, all projects that i backed so far was/is late).

      But it's whole another matter when someone in tokyo, who happen just passing by the tokyo shorts festival for example(that jumped on the bandwagon at the last minute if I'm reading it right), have the opportunity to watch this short months before people without whom this short wont be there in the first place.

      You see, I got no problems with screenings. And I understand that some festivals prohibits screening before this festivals happen. But at current moment this is not the case. People in Tokyo seen the short, people in Australia seen the short, people in France seen the short. So clearly there is no restrictions about no-screenings any more.

      As for this whole "available for online viewing" thing, for example Bill Plimpton sets up special site with password-protected entrance for online screening backers-only. So there is a ways to do it by the book and deliver to backers what was promised.

      And I wanna to remind you that there was no festivals attached at the moment when the kickstarter was running. And literally NO indications about how this release date will be affected by festival activities. A broken promise is a broken promise now matter how you apology it.

      And yes, if that was said at the kickstarter campaign there would be no worries about it. But now there will be 4 or 5 months past the date, all the people around the globe would already seen the film and there would be us, the backers, sitting here and telling ourselves that it's ok that we didn't see the film, but we did a good deed, didn't we?

    10. Dylan-Christopher on June 25, 2013

      Let's be real. KickStarter is not an online store. We are not here to spend money to purchase products. We're here as investors. Our primary interest in this project (and any other on this site) is to see it succeed artistically and commercially, not to have our free one-of-a-kind niknaks delivered more quickly. Those are a side effect of the creative process. A bonus. Not the goal. We did not pay for first viewing privileges, we paid to fund the making and distribution of the film. This prolonged film festival tour is one of the best things we could have hoped for --to see the film generate profits is the other best thing. But in a situation where we are not corporate investors with any ownership of or legal stake in the profits of this product, that artistic success is everything to us. Let me say that again for emphasis: The artistic success of this film is everything to us as its investors.

      If the problem is just that you just can't seem to wrap your head around how a film festival works, then that's really no one's fault but your own: in most festivals any/all films screened publicly in that city, at that specific festival, on that nations' public TV networks, or made available for purchase on DVD, or available for online viewing are NOT eligible for entry. That is almost always THE #1 rule in the entry guidelines. This situation was absolutely implicit in having backed an independent film project to being with. This delay was inevitable, and quite frankly desirable. I don't get why people are complaining about it now, save for ignorance. Not that even ignorance is any excuse, because as a backer on an independent film project, I would have expected that we all knew what we were getting into when we made those financial commitments. To have made financial commitments without knowing seems a little reckless.

    11. Missing avatar

      Jeppe on June 25, 2013

      So it's more important that we, the backers, get to see the short film 2 months early than that the creators have the opportunity to be nominated for, say, the Oscar for best animated short? Award nominations have a huge impact on future distribution and investments, which means that we could potentially see a lot more from Production I.G. and Yuasa in the future. Isn't that worth waiting an extra two months for?

      I don't want to get into a long-winded internet discussion over this, and I realize that I might come off as arrogant or stand-offish, but I just think it's narrow-minded to look at the issue as one of entitlement. Like the update clearly stated, the delay is in part due to the fact that there are strict rules for award nominations. One of those rules is that you can't distribute a film until a certain time, and that includes sending digital copies to backers.

    12. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on June 25, 2013

      And yes, I was completely sure that we will get digital rewards way before physical goods, because the postal service is a weak link here in terms of delivery time and why would there be a problem to share the link so your backers would see the short before(or simultaneously with) the audience at festivals?

    13. Missing avatar

      vamp1r0 on June 25, 2013

      I'm really really dissapointed by this decisions. I gave quite substantial ammount of money, and, overall, without our support there will be no movie at all. But someone out there happens to watch the short months before us. It's not fair at all, to put it mildly.

      "Anything else would be foolish, and believing otherwise is frankly quite a bit egocentric."
      Why would it? Wanting to get what they were promised is foolish? And what's wrong with beeing egosentric, it was _our_ hard earned money after all that kickstart this project.

    14. Missing avatar

      Jeppe on June 25, 2013

      Of course the film needs to be able to qualify for international awards (including the Oscars), before it gets distributed to the public (that means backers, in this case). Anything else would be foolish, and believing otherwise is frankly quite a bit egocentric.

      Congratulations on the success, and best of luck come award season!

    15. Missing avatar

      Colin L. on June 25, 2013

      I, too, believe backers should be able to see the film before random people that have never heard about it. Surely it can't be impossible to arrange a digital download prior to the shipping of the physical rewards.

      Either way, I hope this has been a good lesson for you guys in case you decide to try something like this again in the future.

    16. S-Girl on June 25, 2013

      I'm a little perturbed that you'll be screening to thousands of anime fans at Anime wxpo before the backers even get to see the digital version. Couldn't you arrange the digital version download for backers before it is shown to the public? Or are the backers going to be seeing tweets and bad video copies floating on the Internet first? If you ever do something like this again in the future I hope you will rethink how you handle the rollout. If we were really viewed as sponsors or patrons we wouldn't be so late to the viewing party -- we should have been among the first invited to see the completed project. But now I feel like we are an afterthought.

    17. Romanticide on June 25, 2013

      I imagined it would be delayed since the moment you anounced festivals, given that as far as I know most require not the movie been shared over the net or stuff like that. Oh well, that happens and festivals are important so it can't be avoided. I will wait :) good luck hope you get lots of prizes :D :D :D