New York Int'l Children's Film Fest to Screen A Letter to Momo, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Also: Takashi Miike's live-action Ninja Kids!!! film to screen during March event

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) will screen Production I.G and Hiroyuki Okiura's A Letter to Momo and Makoto Shinkai's Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) films during its annual March festival. Tickets for the festival go on sale on February 1.

A Letter to Momo follows a girl named Momo who struggles with her father's sudden passing and resulting move to the countryside. Momo finds an otherworldly surprise at her new home. 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.

Masashi Ando (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) oversaw the film's animation process. Animators on the team included 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 film held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and it will open in Japan on April 21. NYCIFF will screen the film on March 3, March 11, and March 24.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below centers on Asuna, a girl who spends her solitary days listening to the mysterious music emanating from the crystal radio she received from her father as a memento. However, she embarks on a journey of adventure to find a mysterious boy she just met, and thus comes to know the cruelty and beauty of the world, as well as loss.

The film is the latest work by Shinkai, the creator of Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters Per Second. Takayo Nishimura (5 Centimeters Per Second, Before Green Gables) designed the characters and oversaw the animation process. Takumi Tanji (5 Centimeters Per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days) directed the art, and musical composer Tenmon (5 Centimeters Per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Voices of a Distant Star) collaborated with Shinkai again on this project. The film held its North American premiere at Otakon in July. NYICFF will screen the film on March 10 and March 24.

The film festival will also screen Ninja Kids!!!, Takashi Miike's live-action film adaptation of the long-running Nintama Rantaro ninja comedy anime series on March 3 and March 24. In the film, Seishirō Katō plays the title role of a ninja apprentice at an elite ninjutsu academy in historical Japan. As first-graders, Rantarō and his ninja-in-training friends are called "Nintama" — a contraction of the words "ninja" and "tamago" ("egg").

Thanks to SymposiumForGeek for the news tip.

Images © 2012 Momo e no Tegami Production Committee
© Makoto Shinkai/CMMMY

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