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Dudok de Wit & Ghibli's The Red Turtle Film Wins Jury Prize at Cannes

posted on by Egan Loo
Dutch/Japanese film licensed by Sony Pictures Classics in the Americas

The Red Turtle (La Tortue rouge), the animated film directed by Michael Dudok de Wit and co-produced by Studio Ghibli, won the Special Jury Prize at the Un Certain Regard section of the the Cannes Film Festival. The film screened at the festival on Wednesday.

Entertainment news website Deadline describes the film:

The dialogue-free picture centers on a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds. When he builds a wooden raft, he is confronted by the titular turtle. The story then follows the milestones in his life on the island which include meeting a woman and starting a family.

The Red Turtle is the latest work by award-winning Dutch animator and director Michael Dudok de Wit ("The Monk and the Fish," "Father & Daughter" animated shorts). Studio Ghibli co-produced the film with French film production and distribution company Wild Bunch (co-producers on The Secret World of Arrietty).

Director de Wit temporarily moved to Koganei in Tokyo (where Studio Ghibli is headquartered) to work on the film, completing the film's storyboards and the scenario in his time there, while Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata checked them. Takahata also served as the "artistic producer" for the film. Pascale Ferran (Bird People) wrote the film's script.

The director's "Father & Daughter" short won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2001. The Red Turtle is de Wit's first feature film.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the film for North and Latin America.

TOHO streamed a Japanese teaser trailer for the film earlier on Thursday. The film is slated to open in Japan on September 17. The film will also open the 40th Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.

In addition to The Red Turtle, Kōji Fukada's sixth feature film Harmonium (Fuchi ni Tatsu) won the UCR Jury Prize.

Source: Deadline (Nancy Tartaglione) via Cannes Film Coverage

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