You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlinale: Altitude Flies High for Japanese Animation ‘Witch’s Flower’

Altitude Film Sales has picked up international rights to “Mary And The Witch’s Flower.” The picture is an animated feature that is the first film from Japan’s Studio Ponoc.

The film is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. He is one half of the Oscar-nominated duo with producer Yoshiaki Nishimura who previously made Studio Ghibli’s “When Marnie Was There” and recently co-founded Studio Ponoc.

The film was adapted by Yonebayashi and Riko Sakaguchi from the classic British children’s novel “The Littlest Broomstick” by Mary Stewart. Mixing “Harry Potter”-ish magic with the animation craft of Studio Ghibli, the story follows an innocent girl who stumbles into the magical world of a school for witches. Animators scouted locations in Shropshire, U.K., where Stewart set the book.

The film is now in post-production and will be available for release in 2017. Altitude Film Sales will unveil it to distributors at the Berlin International Film Festival’s European Film Market. Pre-sales have already been made to Altitude Film Entertainment for the U.K. and to Madman Entertainment for Australia and New Zealand.

“’Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ marks the beginning of a new, exciting age of animation and the start of and exciting new relationship between Altitude and Studio Ponoc,” said Will Clarke, founder and CEO of Altitude Film Entertainment in a statement.

Japanese animation has operated under a cloud since Studio Ghibli’s legendary co-founder Hayao Miyazaki announced in 2013 that he would retire. The recent success of both “Your Name” and “In This Corner of the World,” now suggest that other studios are capable of taking up his mantle.

More Film

  • Janelle Monae

    Film News Roundup: Janelle Monae to Star in Film From Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

    In today’s film news roundup, Janelle Monae will star in a Lionsgate movie, Bill Nighy joins “Emma,” and documentaries on surfer Bethany Hamilton and Asbury Park are dated. CASTINGS Janelle Monae will star in an untitled Lionsgate movie directed by the duo Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. The film will be produced by QC Entertainment’s Ray [...]

  • Paul Feig Heads to Universal From

    Paul Feig's Feigco Entertainment Jumps From Fox to First-Look Deal at Universal

    Universal’s comedy constellation just added another star, welcoming Paul Feig from 20th Century Fox Film on Thursday. Universal has set a first-look production agreement with Feig’s Feigco Entertainment, bringing in the prolific producer, writer, and director known for hits like “Bridesmaids” and the recent “A Simple Favor.” News of Feig’s relocation shook out of a [...]

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    Disney Retiring Fox 2000 Label

    Disney will stop making films under the Fox 2000 label, a move that could mean that its head Elizabeth Gabler will not be making the move to the Magic Kingdom, Variety has learned. The decision is surprising because Disney had previously stated that Gabler would stay on board at the studio even after it was [...]

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Fox Layoffs: Distribution and Marketing Leaders Out

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content