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Toronto Film Fest to Premiere Letter to Momo, Smuggler (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Jin-Roh director Hiroyuki Okiura's 1st film since 2000 to be shown in September

The Toronto International Film Festival announced on Wednesday that it will host the world premieres of Hiroyuki Okiura and Production I.G's A Letter to Momo (Momo e no Tegami) anime film and Katsuhito Ishii's manga-based Smuggler film as part of the September 8-18 event's TIFF Kids and Midnight Madness programs, respectively. The festival describes A Letter to Momo as follows:

After the loss of her father, young Momo moves to the old family house on a remote island: wooden buildings, terraced fields... and no shopping mall. Not too fond of the new environment, Momo is also feeling uneasy about an unfinished letter her father left behind with only two words: “Dear Momo.” Then, exploring the attic of her new house, she finds an antique book — and from that moment, strange happenings occur all around her.

The film will open in Japan during next spring's Golden Week holidays. Okiura spent seven years planning, writing, storyboarding, and directing the film; it is his first return to the proverbial director's chair since Jin-Roh in 2000. Yuko Hara, the keyboardist for the band Southern All Stars, spent five years on the theme song "Uruswashimahoroba ~Utsukushii Basho~."

Masashi Ando (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) is overseeing the animation process. Among the animators on the team are Toshiyuki Inoue (Akira), Ei Inoue (The Cat Returns), Takeshi Honda (Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance), Tetsuya Nishio (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence), and Hiroyuki Aoyama (Summer Wars). Hiroshi Ohno (Kiki's Delivery Service) is serving as art director.

The festival also describes Smuggler as follows:

After his dreams of becoming an actor go nowhere, 25-year-old Kinuta does nothing but gamble every day. Broke, framed and now neck-deep in debt, he is recruited as a smuggler – an underground mover of everything from dead bodies to illegal goods – but one cargo triggers the rage of a psychotic gangster hellbent on revenge. By acclaimed cult director Katsuhito Ishii of Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl and Funky Forest fame.

The film based on Shohei Manabe's manga will open in Japan on October 22. Tokyopop published the manga in North America in 2006.

Source: Collider via Catsuka

Image © 2011 Momo e no Tegami Production Committee

Update: Smuggler entry added.

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