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Napping Princess Film to Premiere in N.Y., L.A. on September 8

posted on by Karen Ressler
Oscar-qualifying run to be followed by national expansion

North American film distributor GKIDS announced on Thursday that it will debut Kenji Kamiyama's Napping Princess (Ancien and the Magic Tablet or Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari) in New York City's Village East Cinema and Los Angeles' Laemmle Monica Film Center on September 8, followed by a national expansion. The release will qualify the film for Academy Awards consideration.

The company also began streaming an English subtitled U.S. trailer.

The film opened in Japan on March 18 in 232 theaters nationwide, and ranked #9 in the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. The film will screen in 40 countries and regions worldwide. The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) screened the film on March 19 in Japanese with English subtitles, and Anime Limited screened the film with subtitles and an English dub on August 16. The film will screen at Anime Fest in Dallas this week.

The film won the Gold Prize for the "Best Animated Feature Film" audience award at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival.

The New York International Children's Film Festival 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) animated the film as its first anime film project. Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit, Eden of the East) directed the film and penned the script. Satoko Morikawa (The Cat Returns, Eden of the East, Xi AVANT) designed the characters, and Shigeto Koyama (Michiko & Hatchin, Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit, Heroman) was charge of mechanical design. Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV) composed the music for the film.

Yen Press licensed the manga adaption of the film and began releasing it in North America in February.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter (Carolyn Giardina), Deadline (Patrick Hipes)

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