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Ghibli's Princess Kaguya Wins Fantastic Fest's Audience Award

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
World of Kanako film takes home Best Screenplay award

Film distributor GKIDS announced on Tuesday that Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya film won the Audience Award at Texas' Fantastic Fest. The distributor mentioned on Twitter that they are "super proud" and "honored" by the win and, "[I] can't tell [you] how many conversations I've had with theaters wondering if 'core' Ghibli fans would 'get' the film's ideas and themes. Looks like a whole buncha people got it to me, yeah?"

The United States premiere was hosted at the event.

TIFF describes the story:

Okina (voiced by Takeo Chii) is a bamboo cutter in ancient rural Japan. One day in the forest, he finds a tiny baby in the folds of a bamboo shoot. He brings the creature home to his wife Ounaa (Nobuko Miyamoto) and they decide to keep her and raise her as a princess. She is clearly not of this world. Kaguya (Aki Asakura) grows at an unnatural rate, soon maturing into an uncommonly beautiful young woman. Since Okina has now also found a cache of gold and treasure in the forest, every suitor wants Kaguya. But this is not a fairytale of courtship and marriage. True to the Studio Ghibli that brought us Ponyo and Kiki's Delivery Service, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya follows this strange young female as she creates her own identity.

The film is slated for release in North America on October 17. Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, The 5th Wave) will star as the title character. The cast will also include James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt and Dean Cain.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is based on the famous Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), which centers on a princess named Kaguya who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant. The film won the Animation Film Award at the 68th Mainichi Film Awards. The film was screened at Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight but did not receive any awards.

The film's North American premiere was be held at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8.

The festival also awarded Tetsuya Nakashima, Maiko Tedano and Nobuhiro Monma the Best Screenplay prize for The World of Kanako. The live-action film adaptation Akio Fukamachi's novel Hateshinaki Kawaki features animated sequences by Studio 4°C and Shinya Ōhira.

The story centers around a former detective named Fujishima (Kōji Yakusho) who searches for his missing daughter, a honors student named Kanako (Nana Komatsu).

Fantastic Fest will run at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas until Thursday.

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