GKIDS in Deal with Studio Ghibli for Theatrical Rights

Sep 8th 2011

New York, New York – September 8, 2011 – GKIDS, a distributor of award winning animation for both adults and families, has entered into agreement with Japan's renowned Studio Ghibli to handle US and Canadian theatrical and non-theatrical distribution for Studio Ghibli's library of animated feature films.

The deal includes all thirteen titles produced between 1984 and 2002, including Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award® winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky. Films will be distributed by GKIDS in both the subtitled and English dubbed versions. (See below for a complete list of titles.)

As the first engagements announced under the agreement, New York Film Festival is presenting a 25 year anniversary screening of Castle in the Sky and 10 year anniversary screenings of Spirited Away. This will be followed by a touring Studio Ghibli retrospective, opening a four week run at New York's IFC Center from December 16 to January 12 and visiting key US and Canadian markets in the first half of 2012.

GKIDS is also planning limited releases of select Studio Ghibli titles, many of which have never been released theatrically in the US, beginning late 2012.

Eric Beckman, GKIDS president, said, “I am both excited and deeply honored to be working with Studio Ghibli to bring this amazing slate of films to theaters. Nausicaä, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro are among my favorite movies of all time – and they played an important early role in my decision to launch GKIDS. I am in continual awe of the brilliance and artistry of the animation, the depth and humanity of the storytelling, and of the filmmakers' understanding that even the youngest audiences are capable of appreciating all the subtlety and nuance that cinema has to offer. As Miyazaki has said 'Children understand the complexity and uncertainty of things almost with their skin. They cannot be underestimated.' ”

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and is one of the most successful and well-respected animation studios in the world. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Miyazaki and Takahata, Studio Ghibli's films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling. The films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture, and have garnered worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2002 and in 2005 Miyazaki was named one of "the most influential people" by TIME Magazine.

GKIDS is a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences. Theatrical releases include Tomm Moore's Oscar nominated The Secret of Kells, Michel Ocelot's acclaimed Azur & Asmar, European Film Award Best Animated Feature winner Mia and the Migoo, Nina Paley's multiple-award-winning Sita Sings the Blues, and Japan Academy Prize winner Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda. Upcoming GKIDS releases include 2011 Berlin official selection A Cat in Paris and Annecy winner Eleanor's Secret. GKIDS is also producer of New York Int'l Children's Film Festival, North America's largest festival of film for children and teens. NYICFF is an Oscar®-qualifying event and jury members include Uma Thurman, Susan Sarandon, Gus van Sant, Matthew Modine, James Schamus, Michel Ocelot, and Christine Vachon.

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