Makoto Shinkai Hosts The Garden of Words World Premiere in Australia

posted on by Karen Ressler
Wolf Children, 2nd Berserk film, Robotech documentary also at GCFF this month

Australia's Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) announced on Tuesday that it will screen the world premiere of the anime film The Garden of Words, and that creator Makoto Shinkai would host the premiere in person. The screening will be held on April 28, the last day of the ten-day film festival, which is being held at Broadbeach. Shinkai will be discussing the new film, as well as his previous works, and signing posters.

The Garden of Words follows the story of shoemaker-in-training Takao, who begins sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious older woman and the two start meeting and deepening their relationship. Shinkai previously wrote that The Garden of Words will be his first story about love in the traditional Japanese meaning of the word. Originally, "love" was written as "lonely sadness" (koi), and, according to Shinkai, the modern concept of "love" (ai) was imported from the West. While his new film is set in the modern era, it will be about koi in the original "lonely sadness" meaning — of longing for someone in solitude.

Kenichi Tsuchiya is designing the characters and overseeing the animation process. Hiroshi Takiguchi is serving as the art director, and Daisuke Kashiwa is composing the music. Miyu Irino and Kana Hanazawa headline the cast as Takao and Yukino, respectively. Motohiro Hata contributes the theme song "Rain" with lyrics and music by Senri Oe. The film will open in Japan on May 31, and the film's Blu-ray and DVD release on June 21 will contain English subtitles.

Shinkai began his career by creating his own anime titles almost singlehandedly — being responsible for the writing, directing, and even voice-acting. He now works with CoMix Wave Films and other staff members on anime projects. His titles include She and Her Cat, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and 2011's Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

The Garden of Words will premiere as part of GCFF's 'Cool Japan' Gold Coast line-up, which has been a part of the festival for the last three years to showcase popular culture from Japan. This year, the program will also feature Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children film, and the Australian premiere of Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, the second part in Studio 4°C's film adaptations of Kentarou Miura's Berserk manga. Additionally, the festival will screen a documentary about the Robotech franchise titled Carl Macek's Robotech Universe. The documentary will include cast and crew interviews, as well as pictures and anecdotes from the creation of the series and a sneak peak at the 2013 film Robotech Love Live Alive.

Additionally, also as part of the the "Queensland Pop Culture Week," The Arts Centre Gold Coast will also feature the Evangelion Art Exhibition from April 18 through May 5, which will include concept and production art, character drawings, books, statues and tapestries from the movie series. Voice actress Yuko Miyamura will appear at the exhibit for a hosted talk on April 19.


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