Event Cinemas’ AniMazing Festival has shown us the power that anime fans have to influence the industry they love.
The story behind the festival is quite interesting. It started out with a young man from Brisbane, Bryce Halloran, organising a Naruto Run event in Queen Street Mall, which in turn, inspired another student, Kyle Forrest, to organise his own event, “Scream Like Goku at the Wheel of Brisbane.” These events generated interested from roughly 8000 and 6000 people respectively.
The events became so large on Facebook, that the Brisbane City Council was forced to contact Halloran and Forrest and shut down the events, as they hadn’t filled out the required paperwork. Both events were going to need a sizeable police presence, something that Halloran and Forrest were unable to get in time. The Scream Like Goku event was moved to a smaller area to avoid any issues with the council, but it was much smaller than the Facebook numbers indicated. The Naruto Run had to be cancelled entirely.
As the future of these iconic events seemed bleak, a light broke through the darkness! Event Cinemas contacted Halloran and Forrest and told them that they wanted to use their events to launch their AniMazing Film Festival, where they’d be showing the most recent Naruto and DBZ films. They proposed that Halloran and Forrest host their events again at Event Cinemas, to tie in with the festival.
At the time of writing, the events have been officially rescheduled with Event Cinemas in Queen Street, and the official Naruto Run/cosplay event will be held early December. This really shows that when the fans come together and work in tandem with people in the industry, they can create some amazing things.