Ninjin Art makes history at Japan’s Unco Film Festival
Unco Film Festival: A woman holding a fish.
Ninjin Art's Ignatius Rake becomes first foreign artist to win two Unco Awards while also bagging music video golds in India.

St Austell, 18 October, 2023: Cornwall-based animator Ignatius Rake has become the first foreign artist to win a second award at the annual Unco Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan. Ignatius achieved this feat by landing a Jury Prize for his musical animation ‘Toire o Fumanai’ having last year won a Special Award for his animated pop video parody ‘Unco Daisuki’. Backed by a disco/funk soundtrack Ignatius produced himself, ‘Toire o Fumanai’ again features a roster of characters taken from his universe of green-eyed alien-human hybrids and was likewise written entirely in Japanese.

“I’m well chuffed to have scooped a second Unco, particularly given that this year’s instalment was the biggest yet,” Ignatius says, revealing that the event had to be staged over two days this past September 3 and 22 to accommodate all 50 or so entries from across Japan and beyond.

Organised by internationally-acclaimed manga artist Shintaro Kago, the Unco Film Festival has become a key date in the calendar of the Japanese avant-garde art scene since its first outing in 2010. “My style of art is known as kimo-kawaii in Japan, which basically translates as ‘adorably gross’,” Ignatius notes. “It’s not to everyone’s taste in the West but the Japanese have a complex aesthetic that makes them stand out on the planet thanks to their ability to see beauty in all forms of creation, including things that might be considered a little too off-the-wall elsewhere.”

“I really like Rake’s work,” says actress, musician and artist MadonnaZ, the Unco Film Festival judge who selected ‘Toire o Fumanai’ for the Jury Prize. “The reason I chose it is because it is original and very interesting with a great theme. Ignatius has a world view created with a rich imagination and that’s awesome!”

An astronaut in front of a rocket.
Out of this world: A still from the music video ‘She’s So Spector-Esque’.

Indian awards

Slightly closer to home, Ignatius has also now won two Best Music Video Awards at different film festivals in India. After first tapping top gong at the Death Skull International Film Festival for ‘Still Dead After All These Years’, an animated music video he made for Poland-based garage rockers Dead Members, Ignatius then bagged gold again the following week at the Vaaranam International Film Festival for ‘She’s So Spector-Esque’, another animated music video he made for Cornish ska and soul stalwart Andy Keys Clark. “I briefly worked as a stuntman in Bollywood, so landing a couple of gongs in India is very satisfying indeed,” Ignatius says.

Both of these music videos had previously been selected for the Japan Indies Music Video Awards in Tokyo this past May, with ‘She’s So Spector-Esque’ also landing laurels at the BonDance International Film Festival in Japan in July. “I am very grateful to Ignatius for all his hard work on the video for my song ‘She’s So Spector-Esque’,” Andy says. “His imagination has been in full flow with it, and it complements my song perfectly. Thank you, Ignatius.”

“I’m so pleased that ‘Still Dead After All These Years’ has been a part of such an exciting project,” adds Dead Members’ lead guitarist James Shanahan. “The song itself is the crystallised mean of many influences – from dreams, music, art and movies to the people you know and the things that they do. Now it seems that what resides between the notes and lyrics has made deep connections, becoming a gelatinous hue engine that exists for the purpose of visual entertainment.”

A dancer and a drummer.
Gelatinous hue engine: A still from the music video ‘Still Dead After All These Years’.

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Notes to Editors

1) Originally an analogue collage artist, Ignatius Rake today creates digital artworks using the same cut-and-paste principles but employing modern technology to produce images that disconcertingly blend photographic realism with the physiologically impossible. To date he has won a total of nine film festival awards and laurels, having produced videos and animations for musicians, artists and galleries across the UK, Poland and Japan, including SaiakuNana, Tokyo Park and members of Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners.

2) All three winning videos can be watched online at Ignatius Rake’s Ninjin Art website via the following links: and

Press Contact: Ignatius Rake

Picture credits: Ignatius Rake/Ninjin Art.

Interviews and high-resolution photographs available on request.

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