Hiroyuki Okiura's "A Letter To Momo" World Premiere in Toronto 2011

Tokyo, August 4, 2011 Hiroyuki Okiura's upcoming animated feature film, A Letter to Momo has been invited in the Official Selection of the 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2011), to be held in Toronto, Canada from September 8th to 18th, 2011. The screening in Toronto marks the movie's world premiere.

TIFF 2011 describes the movie as follows: "Seven years in the making, A Letter to Momo is a triumph of traditional hand-drawn animation. [...] A sensitive coming-of-age story that deals with loss and imagination."

With around 300 works selected every year and an annual attendance exceeding 300,000, the Toronto International Film Festival ranks among the world's four major film festivals along with Cannes, Venice and Berlin. A Letter to Momo is the highly anticipated second directorial effort by world-acclaimed anime director Hiroyuki Okiura (Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade). Supported by a top-class team of skilled creators and requiring seven years of work for its completion, A Letter to Momo combines state-of-the-art traditional hand drawn animation with heart-warming, emotional storytelling for children and adults alike. The movie is produced by Japan's top studio, Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell, Kill Bill: Vil. 1) and it is slated in Japan for spring 2012.


Momo is a young girl who grew up in a big city. However, following the premature loss of her father, she has to move with her mother to the old family house on a remote island. Here, time seems to have stopped: old wooden buildings, holy shrines surrounded by trees, terraced fields painstakingly carved out from steep hills... and no shopping mall. Needless to say, Momo is not overly enthusiastic about this newenvironment. Most of all, her heart is still feeling uneasy about an unfinished letter her father left behind. A letter that contained only two words: "Dear Momo." What was dad going to say? One day, exploring the attic of her new big house, Momo finds an antique book. And from that moment, strange happenings start occurring all around her...


Born in 1966 in Osaka Prefecture, Okiura is considered a natural talent in the world of animation, having started his professional career at the age of 16 with no academic background. His credits include some of the most sophisticated animated feature films produced in Japan: Akira (1988, key animator), Patlabor: The Movie(1989, key animator), Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993, assistant animation supervisor), Memories (1995, key animator), Ghost in the Shell (1995, character design, animation supervisor, layout artist), Cowboy Bebop The Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (2001, opening credit sequence director and key animator) and Innocence (2004, character designer, animation supervisor). Okiura made his feature film directorial debut in 1999 with Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, that was selected for the 49th Berlin International Film Festival and won several recognitions in Japan and the world. A Letter to Momo is his second directorial effort after more than a decade-long hiatus.

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