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Ghibli Co-Production ‘The Red Turtle’ Wins Special Jury Prize at Cannes 2016

Studio Ghibli co-production directed by Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit is picked up for distribution in North and Latin America by Sony Pictures Classics.

Michaël Dudok de Wit’s animated feature The Red Turtle has won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, which just wrapped Sunday night in France.

The 2D-animated, dialogue-free film is produced by France’s Wild Bunch and Japan’s Studio Ghibli in association with Why Not Productions. Studio Ghibli’s first-ever international co-production, The Red Turtle also marks de Wit’s directorial feature debut.

Written by the Oscar-winning de Wit in collaboration with director and writer Pascale Ferran (Lady Chatterly, Bird People), The Red Turtle tells the story of a sailor marooned on a deserted tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds. His desperate attempts to escape are thwarted by a giant turtle that sinks his makeshift raft, and he learns to live in isolation until he comes upon a woman lost at sea and begins a life with her.

Following the highly-anticipated film’s premiere at Cannes, which reportedly received a standing ovation, The Red Turtle was snapped up for distribution in North and Latin America by Sony Pictures Classics.

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the spectacular trailer in the player below:

London-based Dutch animator de Wit previously directed the Oscar-winning short Father and Daughter, in 2000, and The Monk and the Fish before that, in 1994. The Red Turtle is produced by Toshio Suzuki, a longtime collaborator of Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, with Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, Kiki's Delivery Service) serving as artistic producer.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.