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Ghibli To Distribute Foreign Toons in Japan

Studio Ghibli has launched into the distribution of foreign animated features in the Japanese market, reports VARIETY. The Ghibli Museum, which organizes animation displays and screenings, will handle the new business. At first, the art films will be screened at the Cinema Angelika in Shibuya, a Tokyo entertainment center. The first film on the slate will be Alexander Petrov's paint on glass film, THE AWAKENING OF SPRING.

At a press conference, Petrov said, "It's the fate of art films to have few chances to be distributed theatrically -- I'm truly appreciative of this plan."

In addition, Ghibli will partner with Buena Vista Home Ent. to distribute the films on DVD. The first DVD release will be the 1980 French feature, THE KING AND MOCKINGBIRD (LE ROI ET L'OISEAU) from director Paul Grimault.

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