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Giovanni's Island, Patema Inverted Win at Chicago Int'l Children's Film Festival

posted on by Emma Hanashiro
Giovanni's Island receives Children's Jury Prize, Adult Jury Prize; Patema Inverted garners Youth Jury Prize

Mizuho Nishikubo and Production I.G's Giovanni's Island film won the Children's Jury Prize and Adult Jury Prize in the Animated Feature Film category at the 31st annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF). Additionally, Yasuhiro Yoshiura's Patema Inverted won the Youth Jury Prize in the Feature Film category and Mari Miyazawa's animated short "Decoration" won the Children's Jury Prize in the Animated Short Film category. The festival ran from October 24 to November 2.

Production I.G's Annecy-winning hand-animated Giovanni's Island film tells the story of two brothers living on the island of Shikotan. Their family and the people of the island hear of Japan's loss in the war and are told not to worry. However, their island gets caught in the middle of the continuing conflict in the west and is invaded by Russian soldiers. The boys meet a western girl on the island named Tanya and the older of the brothers, despite their language barriers, cultural differences, and warnings from friends, starts to fall in love with her. The boys' father gets lured out by the army is and is captured and taken to Siberia. The brothers embark on a journey to see their father again.

Giovanni's Island received the Satoshi Kon Prize for Excellence in Animation and tied for the Audience Award at the 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal in September. The film also won the Jury Special Mention at the Nueva Mirada Film Festival in Buenos Aires. Production I.G will screen the Giovanni's Island anime film at the the Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino, California on November 7 to qualify for the 2014 Academy Awards.

Patema Inverted premiered in France in June 2013 and in Japan in November 2013. The film won both the Judge's Award and Audience Award at Edinburgh's Scotland Loves Animation festival in October 2013. Distribution company GKIDS announced they would release the film in theaters in North America in November 2013, and British distributor Anime Limited announced the English dub cast in May after its Kickstarter campaign for the dub reached its goal after one day.

GKIDS will release the film on DVD on November 11. Anime Limited says that it is aiming for a November release for Kickstarter backers in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Monaco.

Distributor GKIDS held the U.S. premiere at New York City's IFC Center in August. GKIDS describes the story:

Patema Inverted, from Time of Eve director Yasuhiro Yoshiura, is a perspective-twisting sci-fi adventure about two kids separated by opposite gravities. Patema lives in an underground world of tunnels, the long-abandoned ruins of a giant industrial complex. Though she is a princess, she is held back by the rules imposed by the elders of her clan. One day when she is exploring in a forbidden zone, she is startled by a strange bat-like creature and tumbles headlong into a void and out into the wide-open world above the surface – a place in which Patema risks “falling up” into the sky and being lost forever. Student Age lives on this surface world, a totalitarian society whose compliant population has been brainwashed against the “sinners who fell into the sky.” When Age spies Patema hanging upside-down from a tree, he pulls her down to safety. Once they master the art of navigating competing gravitational forces – their weights cancel each other out – the pair sets out to evade the leaders of Age's world and discover the secret that keeps their worlds apart.

Mari Miyazawa's stop motion Decorations short animated film tells the story of cake decorations stirring up trouble. The film also screened at the DC Shorts Film Festival that ran from September 11 to 21.

Last year, Hiroyuki Okiura and Production I.G's A Letter to Momo film won the Second Children Jury's Prize in the Animated Feature Film category. The festival also screened Makoto Shinkai's Children Who Chase Lost Voices.

Source: Yoshiki Sakurai

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