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Hosoda's Mirai Film Wins Best Animated Film at Spain's Sitges

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Maquia also wins Fantastic Discovery award

The 51st annual Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain announced on Sunday that Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai anime film won the festival's Best Animated Feature Film award. I want to eat your pancreas, Liz and the Blue Bird, and Penguin Highway were also among the 10 nominees for the award.

In addition, Mari Okada's Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms film won the Fantastic Discovery award. Atsushi Doi, CG director for the live-action film of Hiroya Oku's Inuyashiki manga, won the Best Special Effects award. Chū Ishikawa won the Best Original Music award for the Kiru (Killing) film.

Following Wolf Children in 2012, Summer Wars in 2009, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in in 2006, Mirai is Hosoda's fourth work to win the Best Animated Feature Film award at the festival.

The 100-minute 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. The film also screened in competition at Annecy in June.

The English dub, starring Victoria Grace (The Last of Us Part II's Yara) as the title character, will premiere at Los Angeles' Animation is Film Festival on October 19. The film will debut in theaters in the U.K. and the U.S. in November.

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.

Hosoda directed the film at his Studio Chizu, and is also credited as scriptwriter and for the original story. Hiroyuki Aoyama (animation director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and The Boy and The Beast) and Ayako Hata (key animator on the same films) returned for this new film as animation directors. Yohei Takamatsu and Takashi Omori, who Hosoda had previously worked with on The Boy and The Beast, returned as art directors. Producer Yuichiro Saito returned from Hosoda's earlier films.

Other previous films that have won the same award at Sitges include Makoto Shinkai's your name. film in 2016, Miss Hokusai in 2015, and Tatsumi in 2011.

The live-action film of Kengo Hanazawa's best-selling zombie manga I am a Hero also won the Grand Audience Award and Award for Best Special Effects at the festival in 2016.

Sources: Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival's website, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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