Last year, the mega hit Your Name made BFI London Film Fest history when it was announced as the first ever animated feature in competition for the prestigious event’s “Best Film” category. A year later and two prominent anime distributors are now once again looking towards the festival, with anticipation building around two of their upcoming films as part of the Official Selection: Japan’s Lu over the Wall and China’s Big Fish & Begonia.
From Masaaki Yuasa (“The Tatami Galaxy“), Anime Limited will be looking at expanding an audience for Lu over the Wall ahead of its nationwide release on 6th December 2016. A visually vibrant, magical tale that won Annecy’s prestigious Cristal for Best Feature Film, Anime Limited describe the film as follows:
Can a shared love overcome the fear that divides us?
Following his parents’ divorce, high schooler Kai (Shōta Shimoda) moves to his father’s home in a rural fishing village, whose superstitions about mermaids force the young man to repress his desire to make music. When his classmates force him to join their band however, their melodies attract the affections of Lu (Kanon Tani), a mermaid whose joy will reveal that superstitions are just that and being different doesn’t mean we’re not the same.
Lu over the Wall will be shown on 14th – 15th October, with tickets going on sale from 14th September.
Before that however, Manga Entertainment revealed today plans to show a previously unannounced film: the Chinese animated epic fantasy Big Fish & Begonia.
Called “Marvellous and Mind-Blowing” by Variety, who praised the film as surpassing anything China has produced before, Big Fish & Begonia is helmed by Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang as the first feature-length project from Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra) and a joint collaboration with B&T Studio. BFI describes the film, as follows:
Beneath the human world is a mystical domain whose inhabitants, once they turn 16 years old must travel through a vortex to observe mankind for a week. During this time, they are barred from direct contact with the human beings. Young Chun takes the form of a dolphin, but on her journey unwittingly finds herself in a life and death situation involving a human boy that results in her making a huge decision. Chun’s world is an incredible magical realm whose residents include a one-eyed man carried in a carriage by cats, a giant two-headed snake and a rat matron who commands her obliging vermin gang. Big Fish & Begonia is an exceptional, visually breathtaking Chinese animated fantasy, as near to the best of Studio Ghibli as you’re likely to find anywhere. Think Spirited Away meets The Little Mermaid and you’re on the right track.
Big Fish & Begonia will be shown on 8th October, with tickets on sale from 14th September.