Crowdfunding Campaign for Kyoto Animation Passes $2 Million Mark

A crowdfunding campaign launched by U.S. animation distributor Sentai Filmworks to assist Kyoto Animation has passed the $2 million mark. The Japanese studio was the victim of an arson attack last Thursday that killed 34 people and injured 34 more.

Among the contributors is software giant Adobe, which anonymously donated $50,000, according to a report on ITmedia News. A spokesman for the company confirmed the donation and said: “Kyoto Animation is a center of the creative community, not only in Japan but worldwide.”

In spite of the horrific attack, Kyoto Animation said in a post on its website that its next feature film, “Violet Evergarden Gaiden” (“gaiden” means “special episode”), is set for a two-week theatrical run in Japan in September. The company asked fans not to bring flowers or gifts to a “Violet Evergarden” orchestral concert scheduled for Saturday in Tokyo, adding that it would also not be accepting donations at the concert.

Kyoto police have yet to release the names of the victims, most of whom are women in their 20s and 30s. Kyoto Animation, familiarly known as KyoAni, is famed as a female-friendly workplace in a mostly male-dominated industry.

Popular on Variety

The police have assembled a special task force of 100 to deal with the tragedy, including  identification of the victims and emotional support for the injured and the families of studio employees.

Among those feared dead is Yasuhiro Takemoto, a veteran animation director who was a mentor to many in the studio and whose credits include “Lucky Star,” “Amagi Brilliant Park” and “Nyoron Churuya-san.” His family tried unsuccessfully to contact him after the fire, and his 76-year-old father told the media that he fears his son is among the victims.

More Film


    Gaumont Scales Down U.S. Operations, Anticipates Big Losses (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont, the once thriving French studio behind “The Intouchables” and “Narcos,” is set to rejig its film and TV strategy as it anticipates heavy losses in 2019. Variety can reveal that the company has all but shut down its TV distribution operations in the U.S., recently axing 12 employees, including Vanessa Shapiro, president of worldwide [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari BTS

    Cinema Audio Society Nominees Represent Wide Range of Genres

    There’s an exceptional level of craftsmanship among this year’s nominees for the Cinema Audio Society Awards, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in sound mixing, a collaborative discipline that requires sound editors, re-recording mixers, Foley and ADR artistry to work together to create a harmonious finished product. The categories considered are: live action, animated and documentary features, [...]

  • My Name is Baghdad

    Reel Suspects Acquires Berlinale Generation Title 'My Name is Baghdad' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Reel Suspects has acquired international sales rights to Caru Alves de Souza’s coming-of-age tale “My Name is Baghdad,” which will world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the Generation 14 section. The film was produced by Manjericão Filmes and Tangerina Entretenimento. It follows a 17-year-old female skater named Baghdad who lives in a working-class [...]

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content