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NY Int'l Children's Film Fest to Show N. American Premiere of Hirune Hime/Ancien and the Magic Tablet Anime Film

posted on by Karen Ressler
Festival also screens your name., Panda! Go, Panda!

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) announced on Wednesday that it will screen the Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari (Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me), your name., and Panda! Go Panda! anime films.

NYICFF will screen the North American premiere of Hirune Hime under the title Ancien and the Magic Tablet. The screening, in Japanese with English subtitles, will take place on Sunday, March 19, one day after the film's Japanese premiere date.

NYICFF describes the story:

This fender and genre-bending film takes us into the not-too-distant machine-driven future. Kokone should be diligently studying for her university entrance exams, but she just can't seem to stay awake. Aside from stealing precious study time, her napping is even more distracting, as it brings on strange dreams with warring machines that hint at family secrets that have been dormant for years. She can't ask her father, a hipster mechanic more talented and artful than his job requires, as he's always busy modifying motorcycles and cars in flights of fancy. What are these visions that lead Kokone at once closer to and farther away from her family? Like all the best anime, the film revels in multilayered fantasy to show how sometimes opposites—waking and dreaming, the past and the future—are far more intertwined than they appear.

I.G Port's new anime studio subsidiary Signal.MD (Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, Anime Tamago's "Colorful Ninja Iromaki" short) is animating the film as its first anime film project. Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit, Eden of the East) is directing the film, as well as penning the script. Satoko Morikawa (The Cat Returns, Eden of the East, Xi Avant) is designing the characters, and Shigeto Koyama (Michiko & Hatchin, Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit, Heroman) is in charge of mechanical design. Animator Christophe Ferreira confirmed that he is working on the film's concept art, storyboards, and animation, and the website lists his role as "creature design." Warner Bros. will distribute the film. Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV) is composing the music for the film.

NYICFF will screen the East Coast premiere of your name. on Saturday, February 25. The screening will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

Funimation will open the film in about 200 theaters in the United States and Canada on April 7. It will host film screenings in both the original Japanese with English subtitles and an English dub. The film previously had an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run from December 2-8 at in Los Angeles.

RADWIMPS is creating all-new English-language versions of the songs it produced for the original film that will be featured in the English-dubbed version of the film. Japanese theaters will begin screening English-subtitled versions of the movie with the English versions of the film's four theme songs.

Funimation describes the film:

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki's body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint.

When a dazzling comet lights up the night's sky, it dawns on them. They want something more from this connection—a chance to meet, an opportunity to truly know each other. Tugging at the string of fate, they try to find a way to each other. But distance isn't the only thing keeping them apart. Is their bond strong enough to face the cruel irony of time? Or is their meeting nothing more than a wish upon the stars?

The film opened in Japan last August, and has become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, the second highest-grossing Japanese film, and the second highest-grossing anime film. As of Sunday, the film has earned 23.23 billion yen (about US$204 million) in Japan. The only Japanese film to gross higher is Spirited Away (30.8 billion yen).

As of last week, the film has earned US$281 million worldwide and topped Spirited Away in its worldwide box office total. While Spirited Away is still the highest grossing anime film domestically, your name is the highest-grossing anime film worldwide.

NYICFF will screen Panda! Go Panda! on March 5, March 11, and March 18. The screening will be in English.

Isao Takahata directed the 1972 family film Panda! Go Panda! and the 1973 film Panda! Go, Panda!: Rainy Day Circus at Tokyo Movie before going on to co-found Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and direct Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, and Pom Poko. Miyazaki came up with the original concept for the first film and wrote both films.

Geneon Entertainment and Discotek Media have both released the film on DVD in North America.

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