Best Theatrical Film - 1997 World Animation Festival Best Director of a Theatrical Film - 1997 World Animation Festival 2029 - A female government cyber agent and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of "The Puppet Master" - a computer virus capable of invading cybernetic brains and altering its victim's memory. Created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and codenamed "Project 2501", this 'hacker' is actually a prototype virtual agent which has now defied its makers by seeking asylum within a new host body outside of the electronic net. Now the two agencies must maneuver against another in a violent, high- tech race to capture the omnipresent entity. Ghost in the Shell took the world by storm exhibiting a new dimension of anime with unprecedented and mesmerizing cinematic expression. Seamlessly merging traditional cel animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle broke through the boundaries of mainstream animation with detailed artistic expression and a uniquely intelligent story line. The film has gone on to inspire a generation of filmmakers and has become the most revered anime feature of all time. Veteran anime writer/director/producer Mamoru Oshii, working in conjunction with the animators at Production I.G. (Blood: The Last Vampire, Kaidohmaru, Kill Bill) brought to life Masamune Shirow's vision (originally serialized in 1991 in Japan's Young Magazine manga). This excellent cyberpunk thriller was co-produced by Manga Entertainment and enjoyed both critical and popular success at the U.S. box office before becoming the first Japanese animated film to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Video Sales Chart (August 24, 1996).