Buena Vista Intl. Japan will invest in the CGI feature, BRAVE STORY, produced by Fuji Television and Gonzo Digimation, it was reported by VARIETY and confirmed by the Walt Disney Co. This marks BVIJs first foray into local production and distribution, planning to distribute it locally in summer 2006.
BRAVE STORY, based on the best-selling novel by Miyuki Miyabe, features a 10-year-old who enters a magical world to find a cure for his mother's illness.
To be directed by Koichi Chigira, production will cost an estimated one billion yen ($9 million).
Fuji TV and Gonzo share the investment, while the BVIJ portion will be decided during further discussions.
Whether BVI will distribute BRAVE STORY worldwide has not been decided yet. "We are very much interested in taking charge of major territories," said BVIJ president Dick Sano, who described the deal as a milestone in Japan's CG animation history.
Fuji TV's motion picture department, headed by Chihiro Kameyama, invested $3.2 million in Gonzo earlier this year to form a production partnership.