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Mirai, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Okko's Inn, Modest Heroes Films to Premiere at L.A.'s Animation is Film Festival in October

posted on by Karen Ressler
Mamoru Hosoda to attend event

Los Angeles' Animation is Film Festival announced its lineup on Wednesday. The festival will host the North American premieres of the Mirai, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, and Okko's Inn anime. It will also host world premiere of the English dub for Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theater, Vol. 1 and the L.A. premiere of Penguin Highway.

Director Mamoru Hosoda will attend the festival for Q&A sessions. The event will also screen his The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast films. His Mirai film will be the opening film, and will screen in both English and Japanese.

All the screenings except Modest Heroes and Mirai will be in Japanese with English subtitles only.

Hosoda's Mirai film opened at #2 at the box office in Japan on July 20. The film had its world premiere in May at this year's Directors' Fortnight, an independent section held in parallel to the Cannes Film Festival. GKIDS and Fathom Events will screen the film in 700 U.S. theaters on November 29, December 5, and December 8.

The film's story centers around a family living in a small house in an obscure corner of a certain city — in particular, the family's spoiled four-year-old boy Kun-chan. When Kun-chan gets a little sister named Mirai, he feels that his new sister stole his parents' love from him, and is overwhelmed by many experiences he undergoes for the first time in his life. In the midst of it all, he meets an older version of Mirai, who has come from the future.

The anime film of Yoru Sumino's I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Kimi no Suizō o Tabetai) novel opened in Japan on September 1. It ranked at #10 at the Japanese box office in its opening weekend, selling 87,206 tickets on Saturday and Sunday to earn 106,999,080 yen (about US$960,000). Aniplex of America previously announced plans screen the film in theaters in the United States.

The novel's story is told from the point of view of an unnamed protagonist who happens to find a diary in a hospital one day. The diary belongs to his classmate, a girl named Sakura Yamauchi, who is revealed to be suffering from a terminal illness in her pancreas, and who only has a few months left to live. Sakura explains that the protagonist is the only person apart from her family who knows about her condition. The protagonist promises to keep Sakura's secret. Despite their completely opposite personalities, the protagonist decides to be together with Sakura during her last few months.

The anime film adaptation of writer Hiroko Reijō and artist Asami's juvenile literature series Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei! (The Young Innkeeper Is a Grade Schooler!, or Okko's Inn) opens in Japan on September 21. The film already screened in competition at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June under the title Okko's Inn.

The film will tell a story not told in either the original book series or the television series — specifically, a story about "Okko" and her parents.

Studio Ponoc's three-part anime anthology film Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theater, Vol. 1 (Chiisana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen) opened in Japan on August 24.

Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who directed the studio's previous Mary and The Witch's Flower film and Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, is directing the 15-minute fantasy adventure story "Kanini & Kanino" ("Kanini to Kanino") about two crab siblings.

Yoshiyuki Momose is directing "Life Ain't Gonna Lose" ("Samurai Egg"), a 15-minute "human drama" (based on a true story) showing the love between a mother and a boy.

Akihiko Yamashita's "Invisible" ("Tōmei Ningen") is a 14-minute "action spectacle" that centers on the lonely struggle of one invisible man.

Hiroyasu Ishida and Studio Colorido's penguin highway anime film opened in Japan on August 17 and ranked #10 in its opening weekend. Eleven Arts Anime Studio screened the film at Crunchyroll Expo earlier this month, and will release the film in the United States theaters this winter

The story of the original novel by Tomihiko Morimi centers on fourth grader Aoyama (Kana Kita) and a mysterious older woman (Yuu Aoi), who is a dental assistant and also Aoyama's first crush. When a group of penguins appears in his quiet suburban neighborhood, Aoyama works to uncover the reason for their appearance.

The festival will take place on October 19-21 in Los Angeles. Mirai will screen on Friday, October 19. Okko's Inn, Modest Heroes, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars will screen on Saturday, October 20, while I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Penguin Highway, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast will screen on Sunday, October 21.

Sources: Animation is Film website, Variety (Terry Flores), Aniplex of America Press release


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