Local Godzilla fan wins first place in Chicago festival

275-Akira-Takarada-Raphael-An aspiring professional movie maker, producer and director, Raphael Cosme Jr., a 15-year-old Sophomore at St Joseph Academy in St Augustine, recently returned from the XXIII Godzilla Convention and Festival at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Chicago, where his hobby won him his second first place win in the Youth category.

Cosme told Historic City News local reporters that he created his original pencil drawing, “Godzilla Resurgence”, in his home studio where he also keeps his Godzilla figures and memorabilia.

“I have been a big fan of Godzilla for many years, and I was inspired by the new Godzilla 2016 movie,” Cosme said. “It took me four weeks to create the drawing in my art class, but I was surprised to see that it won first place among so many great pieces of Godzilla art.”

This year, the three days of the Godzilla Festival convention attracted more than 4,500 participants. It is the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world.

Two years ago one of Cosme’s film productions, “Kaijus” a short Godzilla /Pacific Rim film, won first place at G-FEST in the “Best Mixing” category.

The family-oriented convention and G-FEST features presentations from actors and crew working on the Japanese Godzilla films, fan presentations that catered to a wide variety of interests within the kaiju (“monster” in Japanese) genre, contests and gaming, new and classic kaiju movies, the western world’s largest kaiju-oriented dealer’s room, and lots of fun and camaraderie.

During the festival Cosme met movie stars Linda Miller and Akira Takarada of the 1967 movie “King Kong Escapes” and Bin Furuya and Hiroko Sakurai from the movie series “Ultraman”.

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