GKIDS to Qualify Four Films for Oscar Race
New York, – GKIDS, a distributor of award-winning animation for both adults and family audiences, announced that it will have four feature films competing for the 2012 Best Animated Feature Oscar and the 2012 Annie Awards. GKIDS is planning Academy qualifying Los Angeles runs in November for From Up On Poppy Hill, Le Tableau, The Rabbi’s Cat and Zarafa.
The company has received three Best Animated Feature Oscar® nominations in the past three years with The Secret of Kells in 2010 and both A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, marking the first time an independent distributor has had two simultaneous nominations in the category. GKIDS also recently announced pickups of Ernest & Celestine from Studiocanal in France and A Letter to Momo from Production I.G in Japan. Both of these titles are slated to compete in the 2013 awards season.
GKIDS president Eric Beckman said, “It has truly been a banner year for international animation and we are extremely excited about our upcoming release slate. All four films are unique and wonderful, each in their own way, and we look forward to sharing them with Academy voters and audiences across North America.”
Animation, Goro Miyazaki, Japan, 2011, 91 min
The latest release from Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli was the top-grossing Japanese release of 2011 and took home the Japan Academy Prize for Animation. The film was directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki, with Hayao Miyazaki supervising the production, marking the first feature collaboration between father and son. An English-language version is currently in production by Studio Ghibli with Frank Marshall executive producing. Voice cast announcement is expected within the next two weeks. Set in Yokohama in 1963, the film centers on a high school couple’s innocent love and the secrets surrounding their births. The story takes place in a Japan that is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics – and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the new generation struggles to embrace modernity and throw off the shackles of a troubled past. The film’s rich color palette and painterly detail capture the beauty of Yokohama’s harbor and its lush surrounding hillsides, while the 1960’s pop soundtrack evokes nostalgia for an era of innocence and hope. The film will qualify in the English language version.
Animation, Jean-Francois Laguionie, France, 2012, 78 minutes
French animation auteur Jean-Francois Laguionie’s latest work is a wryly-inventive parable executed in a stunning painterly style. A kingdom is divided into the three castes: the fully painted Alldunns who reside in a majestic palace; the Halfies who the Painter has left incomplete; and the untouchable Sketchies, frail charcoal outlines who are banished to the cursed forest. Chastised for her forbidden love for an Alldunn and shamed by her unadorned face, Halfie Claire runs away into the forest. Her beloved Ramo and best friend Lola journey after her, passing between the forbidden Death Flowers that guard the boundaries of the forest, and arriving finally at the very edge of the painting – where they tumble through the canvas and into the Painter’s studio. The abandoned workspace is strewn with paintings, each containing its own animated world – and in a feast for both the eyes and imagination, they explore first one picture and then another, attempting to discover just what the Painter has in mind for all his creations. The film will qualify in the original French language version.