GKids Licenses Miss Hokusai Film
posted on by Karen Ressler
Distribution company GKids announced on Thursday that it has licensed Production I.G's Miss Hokusai anime film. The company plans to release the film in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 14, in time for the awards season, and then follow with a broader North American release.
Production I.G had announced at Anime Expo that the anime had been licensed for North America but did not say which company had licensed it.
Annecy-winning director Keiichi Hara (Summer Days with Coo, Colorful) directed the film based on Hinako Sugiura's acclaimed historical manga Sarusuberi. The film originally premiered in Japan in May 2015.
Production I.G describes the story of Miss Hokusai:
The time: 1814.
The place: Edo, now known as Tokyo. One of the highest populated cities in the world, teeming with peasants, samurai, townsmen, merchants, nobles, artists, courtesans, and perhaps even supernatural things.
A much accomplished artist of his time and now in his mid-fifties, Tetsuzo can boast clients from all over Japan, and tirelessly works in the garbage-loaded chaos of his house-atelier. He spends his days creating astounding pieces of art, from a giant-size Bodhidharma portrayed on a 180 square meter-wide sheet of paper, to a pair of sparrows painted on a tiny rice grain. Short-tempered, utterly sarcastic, with no passion for sake or money, he would charge a fortune for any job he is not really interested in.
Third of Tetsuzo's four daughters and born out of his second marriage, outspoken 23-year-old O-Ei has inherited her father's talent and stubbornness, and very often she would paint instead of him, though uncredited. Her art is so powerful that sometimes leads to trouble. "We're father and daughter; with two brushes and four chopsticks, I guess we can always manage, in a way or another."
Decades later, Europe was going to discover the immense talent of Tetsuzo. He was to become best known by one of his many names: Katsushika Hokusai. He would mesmerize Renoir and van Gogh, Monet and Klimt.
However, very few today are even aware of the woman who assisted him all his life, and greatly contributed to his art while remaining uncredited. This is the untold story of O-Ei, Master Hokusai's daughter: a lively portrayal of a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father, unfolding through the changing seasons.
Miss Hokusai previously won: the Jury Award in the Official Feature Film Competition at the 39th Annecy International Film Festival in June 2015; the Sequences Award for best Asian feature film, the Satoshi Kon Award for best animated feature film, and the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film at the 19th annual Fantasia International Film Festival last August; the Best Animated Feature Film award at the 48th annual Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival last October; Best Animated Feature Award at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards last November; and Best Animation Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards in February.
Additionally, Keiichi Hara won Digital Content Expo's Asiagraph 2015 Tsumugi Prize for the film last September. The film was also nominated for Animation of the Year by the Japan Academy Prize Association.
Source: The Hollwood Reporter (Carolyn Giardina)