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Mary and The Witch's Flower Lead Actress Hana Sugisaki Awarded at BIFF

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Sugisaki wins Face of Asia award for up and coming Asian performers

The Busan International Film Festival in South Korea awarded Japanese actress Hana Sugisaki with its Face of Asia award for her performance as the main character Mary in Studio Ponoc and Hiromasa Yonebayashi's Mary and The Witch's Flower anime film. The award honors up-and-coming Asian actors and actresses. The film had its debut screening in South Korea on Friday during the film festival.

The film festival will also screen the live-action Blade of the Immortal film, the live-action Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (Kimi no Suizō o Tabetai) film, and Akiyuki Simbo and Shunji Iwai's Fireworks, Should We See it from the Side or the Bottom? anime film. The festival has a focus on the works of Masaaki Yuasa, and will screen episodes from his The Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong anime series, as well as his Night is Short, Walk On Girl and Lu over the wall films.

Mary and The Witch's Flower opened in Japan on July 8 and has earned 3 billion yen (US$28 million). GKIDS announced in August that it has acquired the film, and it will screen an English dub of the film starring Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent. The film will open in 155 countries and territories worldwide. The "Animation is Film" festival will hold the North American debut screening of the film later this month.

Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who directed Studio Ghibli's Arrietty and When Marnie Was There, directed Mary and The Witch's Flower, and also penned the script for the film alongside Riko Sakaguchi, who wrote the screenplay for Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya film. Takatsugu Muramatsu (When Marnie Was There) composed the music. Yoshiaki Nishimura is credited as producer. The staff page on the film's website further noted that many former staff from Studio Ghibli joined Ponoc in the film's production.

The film is based on Mary Stewart's book The Little Broomstick. Studio Ponoc scouted locations in Shropshire, U.K., the setting of the original novel. Aside from Sugisaki, the Japanese version also stars Ryunosuke Kamiki (The Secret World of Arrietty's Sho, your name.'s Taki) as Peter.

Source: Eiga Natalie

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