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A Letter for Momo Wins Top Prize at Czech's AniFest

posted on by Ko Ransom
Two other Japanese titles receive prizes in 11th AniFest

It was announced on Monday that Hiroyuki Okiura's film A Letter to Momo won the main prize in the "Feature film" category at the Czech AniFest animation festival. A total of seventeen films were screened in the category, though A Letter to Momo was the only Japanese-produced feature-length animation shown. Two other Japanese titles also won awards, with Atsushi Wada taking the main prize in the "Short film up to 5 minutes" category with "The Mechanism of Spring / Haru no Shikumi," and Mirai Mizue receiving the main prize in the "Music videos" category for "Toru Matsumoto: AND AND." AniFest 2012 marked the 11th time the festival was held.

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, received the Grand Prize for Best Feature Film at this year's New York International Children's Film Festival, and will compete at France's Annecy film festival this June. The film opened in Japan on April 21, earning 77,510,600 yen (about US$952,300) in its opening weekend.

[Via Anime! Anime!]

Update: Box office numbers corrected. Thanks, molybdenum.

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