Weathering With You, Children of the Sea, Ride Your Wave to Premiere at L.A.'s Animation Is Film Fest

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Cencoroll Connect also screening in October festival

The Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles announced its lineup on Friday. The festival will host the United States premiere of the Weathering With You film and the North American premiere of the Children of the Sea film. It will also screen the West Coast premiere of the Ride Your Wave film, and it will screen the Cencoroll Connect anime. Weathering With You, Children of the Sea, and Ride Your Wave are all screening in competition.

Weathering With You director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura, and Children of the Sea director Ayumu Watanabe will attend the festival for Q&A sessions at their respective films' screenings. The anime films will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.

Makoto Shinkai's new film Weathering With You opened in 359 theaters and 448 screens in Japan on July 19. The film sold 1,159,020 tickets for 1,643,809,400 yen (about US$15.22 million) in its first three days in 358 theaters. The film ranked #1 in its opening weekend. The film has so far sold 9.13 million tickets for 12.17 billion yen (about US$113 million) since opening. The film is now the #7 highest-earning domestic film of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing film in Japan this year.

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is hosting the North American premiere of Weathering With You as part of its Special Presentations category, with screenings on September 8, 10, and 14. The film is eligible to win the Audience Award. Japan submitted the film for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards.

GKIDS has licensed the film for North America, and will give the film an "awards qualifying" theatrical run this year before a wider screening with subtitles and an English dub in early 2020.

GKIDS describes the film:

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong­willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky...

Children of the Sea opened in Japan on June 7 and ranked at #5 in its opening weekend. The film earned a cumulative total of 316,860,800 yen (about US$2.95 million). GKIDS will screen the film theatrically in North America in Japanese and English in 2019. The film screened at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June this year in the festival's new Contrechamp category.

The film is based on Daisuke Igarashi's manga of the same name. Viz Media published the manga in English, and it describes the story:

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.

Ruka's dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans' fish.

Masaaki Yuasa and Science SARU's Ride Your Wave opened in Japan on June 21 and ranked at #9 in its opening weekend. The film won the Best Animation Film award at the Shanghai International Film Festival's Golden Goblet Awards on June 23, and it also won the "Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation" award for Best Animated Feature in Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival on July 25. GKIDS will screen the film in theaters, and it describes the film:

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short Walk On, Girl, DEVILMAN crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.

Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato's sudden reappearance?

Cencoroll Connect is a special joint screening of Atsuya Uki's first Cencoroll film short and the Cencoroll 2 sequel. The screening debuted on June 29 in Japan.

The first Cencoroll theatrical anime short's story begins when a giant monster sends a town's citizens into a panic — except for a girl named Yuki and her schoolmate Tetsu. Tetsu happens to have his own strange creature named Cenco as a pet. Another boy named Shū controls the monster threatening the town, and the stage is set for a battle.

uki (Digimon Adventure tri., tsuritama) directed, wrote, designed, and animated the first Cencoroll project himself, and the film had its world premiere at Canada's Fantasia 2009 festival. The short also played in Tokyo, Osaka, and New York at the New York Anime Film Festival.

Aniplex of America screened Cencoroll Connect at Anime Expo on July 4.

The festival will take place on October 18-20 in Los Angeles.

Source: Animation Is Film website

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