GKIDS’ latest acquisition BELLE, from acclaimed filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda and his company Studio Chizu, is an Official Selection of the 2021 New York Film Festival, and will make its North American debut in the Spotlight section on Saturday, September 25th at Alice Tully Hall. This marks Hosoda’s first invitation to the New York Film Festival. GKIDS will release BELLE theatrically in North America in both its original Japanese language and a new English dubbed version this winter, and will qualify the film for 2021 awards consideration.
BELLE, Hosoda‘s highly anticipated new animated feature, made its critically-lauded world premiere last month as an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival, marking the award-winning director’s second invitation to Cannes. His first, Mirai, made its debut at Director’s Fortnight in 2018 before going on to receive an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature.
BELLE is an original story written and helmed by the celebrated director whose previous films also include The Boy and the Beast, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and others. Hosoda is joined by long time producing partner and Studio Chizu co-founder Yuichiro Saito, as producer on the title.
On BELLE, the Japanese creative team worked in collaboration with a roster of international talents. Character designer Jin Kim, the artist behind several iconic Disney features including Moana, Tangled, and Frozen, designed the titular Belle. Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar®-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) also join the team, contributing artwork for the various virtual fantasy worlds within the film. Hosoda continues his film collaborations with architects, and is joined by up-and-coming British architect and designer Eric Wong, who designed the virtual world of “U.” Rounding out the team, composer Ludvig Forssell, best known for his collaborations with video game auteur Hideo Kojima (Death Stranding, Metal Gear Solid V), joined the score team for the film.
BELLE was released in theaters in Japan starting July 16, and has grossed over 5 billion yen ($45.56 million USD) to date.
From the celebrated Oscar®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creator of Mirai, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and more, comes a fantastical, yet beautiful and contemporary thematic story of one girl’s growth in the age of social media.
Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.