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Wild Bunch & Studio Ghibli's The Red Turtle Film Begins Oscar-Qualifying Run in November

posted on by Karen Ressler
Film opens November 18 in NY, LA; broader N. American release slated for January 20

Michael Dudok de Wit and Studio Ghibli's animated film The Red Turtle (La Tortue rouge) will open in New York and Los Angeles on November 18 for an Oscar-qualifying run. Sony Pictures Classics will then screen The Red Turtle in more North American theaters starting on January 20, 2017.

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 film opened in Japan on September 17 with the title Red Turtle - Aru Shima no Monogatari (Red Turtle - A Certain Island's Story).

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 film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and won the Special Jury Prize at the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. The film opened the 40th Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.

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.

Source: Animation World Network (Jennifer Wolfe)


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