Ghibli's When Marnie Was There Gets N. American Premiere in NYC
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) announced on Wednesday that it has added Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There film to its lineup. The film will screen for the first time in North America at the festival on Friday, February 27 at 8:30 p.m. EST followed by an encore screening on Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 p.m. The film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.
When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend.
GKIDS handles North American theatrical and home video distribution for many other Studio Ghibli films, most recently The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
When Marnie Was There adapts Joan G. Robinson's classic English children's novel of the same name. In his second film, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010's The Secret World of Arrietty) has shifted the setting from the novel's Great Britain to a Japanese village on the shores of Hokkaido. The screenplay was written by Yonebayashi with Keiko Niwa (Secret World of Arrietty) and Masashi Ando (A Letter to Momo, Spirited Away and Paprika), who also handled the character designs and animation direction. The film's soundtrack was composed by Takatsugu Muramatsu.
The cast includes 16-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki (Black President, Otomen, GTO, Daily Lives of High School Boys, Haganai) as Anna and 21-year-old actress Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover, Judge) as Marnie. As a result this is the first Studio Ghibli title with dual lead heroines and the film is the first animated feature that Sara and Kasumi have acted in.
American musical artist Priscilla Ahn contributed "Fine on the Outside," a song she wrote when she was in high school, as the film's theme song. It is Ghibli's first theme song entirely in English. (Only Yesterday used a Japanese version of "The Rose," while Whisper of the Heart used both the original English version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and a Japanese translation.) The film is also Ghibli's first anime feature after Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki retired.
The film opened in Japan in July.
In the film, Sueoka stars as Masashi, an elementary school student who transfers schools after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. In his new house, Masashi discovers that he can see "friends," mysterious jellyfish-like beings that adults cannot see. The film incorporates more than 900 cuts of CG animation.
Murakami made his live-action directorial debut with the film. He is was also in charge of the original story and the character design, and served as executive producer. Jun Tsugida was in charge of the film's screenplay alongside Yoshihiro Nishimura, who acted as producer and assistant director. The video features the livetune and Hatsune Miku song "Last Night, Good Night" written and composed by Kz.
The film opened across Japan on April 26, 2013.
Update: Typos fixed. Thanks, Chrno2 and PurpleWarrior13
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