JAFF Announces “Stage Ninja”

Annual Baltic Cosplay Award

JAFF – The Japanese Animation Film Festival is establishing a new award for best Baltic cosplayers and stage workers. The “Stage Ninja” award will recognize outstanding performances at any cosplay competition in the Baltic States over the previous year. The winners will be announced annually at the J-Zone convention – a weekend-long celebration of Japanese pop culture held at Tallinn’s Kultuurikatel during the Film Festival.

The “Stage Ninja” award will be given out in three categories: Best performance by a cosplayer from the Baltic States, best technical achievement in cosplay at a Baltic convention, and best stage worker at a cosplay competition (the original Stage Ninjas).

The nominees and winners will be selected by an independent panel of experts, drawn from among top cosplayers and organizers of cosplay-focused conventions in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Any on-stage performance at a Baltic convention during the year is eligible for the award. Nominees will be invited to the J-Zone convention in Tallinn (part of the Japanese Animation Film Festival that takes place every Spring ), where winners will be announced at a formal ceremony.

The “Stage Ninja” award is a brand-new type of cosplay award, patterned on international film awards (Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, etc.). Unlike existing awards, it does not require nominees to perform at any specific convention – rather, it is based on an overview of everything that has happened in the Baltic cosplay community over the previous year. In addition, it recognizes not just cosplayers, but also the convention staff (most of them volunteers) who enable this vibrant, welcoming and supportive community to exist.

Cosplay is a form of grassroots theatrical performance that originated in Japan. The name, an abbreviation of “costume play”, refers to the performers’ self-made costumes – designed to transform the wearer into a character from a Japanese comic (manga) or animation (anime). Today, cosplay has expanded to include a variety of media sources – video games, Western movies, TV shows, etc. Cosplayers are judged both on the craftsmanship of their costumes, and on their on-stage performances. In the Baltics, cosplay has been a popular hobby for over a decade, with local cosplayers placing highly in international competitions. Baltic cosplay contests also serve as qualifying events for the European and Nordic Cosplay Championships, and the World Cosplay Summit in Japan.

The presentation of the new award will be held at J-Zone², the latest iteration of JAFF’s fan-centered celebration of youth sub-culture that will take place at Tallinn’s Kultuurikatel on June 13th-14th, 2020. The first winners will be announced in Spring of 2021, during the 15th edition of JAFF.

New dates for the 14th edition of JAFF are 4.-14.06.2020. We hope that the situation with
Covid-19 will be successfully resolved by then. The festival management is keeping its finger on the pulse of the pandemic situation.
Stay safe, please!


For more details, please contact info@animefest.eu, or see https://www.facebook.com/jaff.eu/