The Sapporo Project (2010)

The Sapporo Project (2010)


The Sapporo Project is a poetic homage to the work of acclaimed Japanese calligrapher Gazanbou Higuchi. A unique glimpse into the world of Japanese calligraphy, this animated film explores the creative process of a master. By animating his very own art, the viewer is transported into the imagination of a legendary figure in contemporary calligraphy.

This poetic homage to calligrapher Gazanbou Higuchi utilizes Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre’s signature style of rotoscope animation to illustrate the craft of Japanese shodo. Energetic brush strokes pulsate into moving forms, connecting the artist to his work in a seamless flow. Morphing minimalist black and white compositions fulfill Higuchi’s mission to convey the dance and rhythm of life – Alex Rogalski, Short Cuts Canada, Toronto International Film Festival 2010


Film Images

Director’s Statement

The Sapporo Project was made during a three month artist residency in Sapporo, Japan.  I have always dreamed of making a film that would explore the art of Japanese calligraphy.  Gazanbou Higuchi accepted to be the subject of my film.  His figurative work his brought to life and takes us to the heart of Japanese Shodo art to convey the dance and the rhythm of life..



MJSTP Films Inc would like to thank Gazanbou Higuchi for his precious collaboration in the making of this film.

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Team and Credits

Director, Producer and Scriptwriter

Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre

Drawings and Animation

Brigitte Archambault


Akihito Yamamoto and Hare-Bare SHA SHINN

Editing and Special Effects

Kara Blake


Gazanbou Higuchi




Fuyuka Shindo

Technical Support

Takashi Homma

Sound Design

Martin Allard