Rintaro's Yona, Ghibli's Ocean Licensed at Berlin Fest
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
At the European Film Market component of this year's Berlin Film Festival, the film rights management firm Wild Bunch signed deals to bring the computer-animated Japanese/French co-production Yona Yona Penguin to 11 European markets. Rintaro (Space Pirate Captain Herlock The Endless Odyssey, Metropolis) is directing Yona Yona Penguin from a screenplay co-written by Tomoko Komparu and Dominique Lavigne. The film currently on track for a late 2008 Japanese theatrical premiere. Thailand's Imagimax, Japan's Dynamo Pictures, and France's Def2Shoot are producing the animation with Madhouse (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Highlander: Vengeance).
Distributor Metropolitan will be releasing it in the United Kingdom, while JBK has acquired the theatrical rights to the film for France, and Central Partnership, for Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. While American theatrical or distribution rights have not been announced yet, the Japanese distributor Shochiku Film has announced plans to work together with Madhouse's American division to bring it to American audiences.
Separately, Wild Bunch has been offering television and DVD release rights to Tomomi Mochizuki's Umi ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves), one of the few Studio Ghibli projects that were not directed by Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata. Optimum Releasing will be bringing the 1993 work out in the United Kingdom, while Telepool has the rights for the German market. Ocean Films bought the rights for the French-language release, and Spain's Aurum has that country's. In Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the DVD will come from NonStop Entertainment.