Category Archives: NIAF

June Film Festival

“Between Times” is in the following film festivals for June!

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
June 4~ 15

Asia International & Japan C
SHIDAX / 6/12 fri 11:20-13:10
LAFORET / 6/13 sat 15:40-17:30
YOKOHAMA / 6/14 sun 11:20-13:10

*** Ru will be attending the festival ***
Bit Bant Fest, Argentina
June 13


Melbourne International Animation Festival
June 21~ 28

International Program #7 – Long Shorts
June 26 (thursday)
Cinema #1

*** There is also Netherlands Institute for Animation Film (NIAF) tribute screening ***
June 24 (Wednesday)

KAdE Animation Show in Amersfoort

We’re part of a group exhibition in Amersfoort, Netherlands called MOVE On…! 100 Years of Animation Art.

A few days ago, they sent me some pictures of the exhibition since I cannot attend. I love that our puppets are in drinking glasses.

photo by Mike Bink

photo by Ep de Ruiter

KAdE, Kunsthal in Amersfoort
Eemplein 77 (Eemhuis) / 3812 EA Amersfoort

January 31st until May 10th.

MOVE ON…! 100 Years of Animation Art

We’re part of a group exhibition in Amersfoort, Netherlands called MOVE On…! 100 Years of Animation Art.

This weekend is the opening, so if you’re in the Netherlands area, stop by and enjoy the exhibition.

Our film, “Between Times” along with some puppets, miniature baked goods, storyboards and props will be exhibited with other films made at the Netherlands Institute for Animation Film (The residency program we were part of from 2011~2012)
This will be part of The Making of…

A display of sketches, storyboards and other production materials in the education area will help visitors understand the process of creation from initial concept to final product. All the materials relate to the latest films developed or produced wholly or partly in the studios of the former Netherlands Institute for Animation Film.
Productions: Between Times by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata | Parade by Digna van der Put | Coffee by Sjaak Rood | The Family by Frauke Striegnitz | Égo by Leevi Lehtinen | Finity Calling by Jasper Kuipers

KAdE, Kunsthal in Amersfoort
Eemplein 77 (Eemhuis) / 3812 EA Amersfoort

January 31st until May 10th.

Thoughts After NIAF…

It’s been exactly a month since I left The Netherlands Institute for Animated Film.
During the residency, we had to submit a report every 3 months to discuss work in progress, experiences at the residency, events we participated, etc. Ton, the managing director of the organization, strongly believed in “reflecting” your work and life.
I just finished the last quarterly report and sent it to NIAF. I thought it will be nice to post an excerpt from it.


The NIAF experience has helped me slow down from my busy life in NYC. When I arrived at NIAF, I felt like I had squeezed everything out of my brain and was sucked dry. I needed the time to catch up with my thoughts and try something different.
At NIAF, I fell in love with animation again and also became interested in making different kind of art like live action film, installation, drawings, print making, etc. Before NIAF, I could only think about the film I was making at the time. When that film was done, I had no idea for the next. I treated each film as if it were the last. There was a lot of pressure and sense of urgency that came with the production. However, at one point, I realized that this won’t be the last and I will make many more. Somehow it calmed down my feelings and gave me an optimistic view to experiment more. If it doesn’t work out, it’s OK because I have the next film to try out something else.

I left NIAF with one short animated film well into production, one short film in storyboard stage, one feature film script in development, a comic series still in progress and various small artworks. Even though my residency period was shorter than I expected, I feel very content with the outcome.

Thank you NIAF for EVERYTHING. Simply, it was the best time of my life and I hope to return to the Netherlands (or somewhere in Europe) to continue my adventure. When I think about NIAF, I still don’t understand how I got so lucky to be part of it.

50th artist-in-residents @ NIAF,


From one of the international meals @ NIAF. Everybody saying “PROOST!” (cheers)

PROOST to the next chapter!

Good Bye Tilburg, Good Bye 2012

Max and I said good bye to The Netherlands Institute for Animated Film and arrived in Baltimore, USA. It was sad to leave the Netherlands but we left with lots of fun, art, friendship and experiences.

When we visited North Dakota University for a lecture back in November, the print master, Kim Fink, and I started a project of 4 lithograph prints. They are dogs that I stalked from the window in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Thanks to Kim, I received these wonderful prints on the last day of the Netherlands. Phew, right on time!

Another animation resident, Frauke, was taking pictures of this man with two white dogs. He passed in front of our apartment about 4 times a day, rain or shine. So we started taking pictures of all the dogs that passed by us. Some have strict time schedule, some lose, some used as smoking break. These dogs brightened our days.
Yes, we were stalking. I am not sure if they know. I hope they don’t.

*Pictures are a bit blurry since I took them from 3rd floor looking down with zoom.

Since the summer, we stopped seeing the man with two white dogs. The dogs are still well but it’s his wife who takes the dogs for all the walks.We are not sure what happened to the man but one theory we have is that he is visiting his long-lost daughter in Australia for a few months since she gave a birth to his grand-child.

We will miss these dogs and all the lovely things in Tilburg.
Good bye Tilburg, good by 2012.
We hope 2013 will be as fun, exciting and productive as 2012.


In the Netherlands, they celebrate December 5th which is St.Nicolas’ birthday.
Children receive gifts and there are lots of fun activities. I was told that adults write rhymes to tease each other and I wanted to do it really badly last year. But I didn’t know everybody well enough to tease so I decided to wait until this year.
Of course I cannot write rhymes in Dutch so I decided to do a visual poetry to tease everybody.
Here is an example.

It is an inside joke but Ton, the director of Netherlands Institute for Animated Film, loves cookies so much. He will never say “no” when you offer cookies.
Yes, I made not-joke cards.

I hope nobody got offended because I only meant as a friendly tease.

NIAF event : Russian Lunch, Dutch Dinner & American Jewish Lunch

One of the nicest things about belonging to an organization is that we do very cozy events that makes our relationships better. Followed by my Hinamatsuri (aka Japanese lunch), we decided to continue this international lunch event.


Next up was a Russian lunch by Frauke (German) and Digna (Dutch) on May 22nd.
Everybody was puzzled why “Russian” lunch when none of those girls are Russians but let’s not question things too much.

I am not sure how many people were productive after the lunch. But it was delicious.


June 19th was a Dutch dinner organized by Ton (Head of NIAF).
The new herrings were in season around this time. (Salted, raw, small fish)

Run to herrings! They were gone in probably 5 minutes.

Followed by a very strong Dutch drink, Korenwijn. (Very similar to Jenever)


Then it was Max’s turn on July 11th.
*As if we were obsessed, there were so many lunches around this time…
Brisket, Potato Latkes, Bagel w/ Cream cheese and NY cheesecake.

Max explained about NYC and its food culture.


The Next international lunch is undecided since everybody goes away for a few weeks during the summer.
But I am sure in September, something delicious will be organized.