Spirited Away Wins Golden Bear; May Be Released in U.S.

Hayao Miyazaki's SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI (SPIRITED AWAY) was awarded The Golden Bear, the top prize at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. SPIRITED AWAY shared the award with Paul Greengrass's live-action film BLOODY SUNDAY. Winning the coveted award, and acceptance of the film by Western audiences, may mean the film will finally be seen in the U.S. SPIRITED AWAY broke box office records in Japan, where it was the number one film of all time, earning 29.4 billion yen (US $221.5M). But as recently as summer 2001, Disney (who released Miyazakis PRINCESS MONONOKE in the U.S. in 2000) had no plans for U.S. distribution. However, in an article in Japan Today.com, Ghibli Studios president and the films producer Toshio Suzuki alluded to a deal in the works to bring the film to U.S. audiences. "We will have an English version out soon," said Suzuki. "I can drop a hint that itll take less time to reach the international market than PRINCESS MONONOKE we have a friendly relationship with Disney and the first negotiations are already underway. They are looking at our film." The film is already showing in Taiwan and Hong Kong and will be released in France in April 2002.

Kumi Kaoru discusses Anime master Hayao Miyazaki's all time Japanese highest grossing film SPIRITED AWAY -- from its background to its meaning and whether or not Miyazaki succeeds at creating another masterpiece.

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