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Anime, Wild Bunch Take French Rights to Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘Mirai’

Paris-based companies Anime and Wild Bunch Distribution have partnered to acquire French distribution rights to Mamoru Hosoda’s animated feature “Mirai,” which will world premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

Represented in international markets by Charades and produced by Hosoda’s own animation banner Studio Chizu, “Mirai” will be the first Japanese animated feature to world-premiere at Cannes. Toho will release “Mirai” under the title “Mirai no Mirai” in Japan on July 20.

Wild Bunch will handle the film’s theatrical distribution in France. GKids previously acquired U.S. rights to the feature.

The fantasy-filled tale centers on a 4-year-old boy who feels his place in his parents’ affections threatened by the arrival of a baby sister, Mirai. Then she reveals herself as a girl from the future.

“As a parent myself, I realized that our children’s lives are very similar to our own at that age, even though the times are different,” said Hosoda.” Through a house, a garden and a family, I wanted to portray this great cycle of life and sense of generation and continuity that binds us all.”

Charades, the Paris-based sales outfit launched a year ago by Yohann Comte, Carole Baraton, Pierre Mazars and Constantin Briest, also pre-sold the film to Spain (A Contracorriente), the U.K./Ireland (Anime Limited), Italy (Dynit), Canada (MK2 Mile End), Germany (AV Visionen), Latin America (KEM), Turkey (Filma), Benelux (Cineart), CIS (Exponenta), Hungary (Mozinet), Ex-Yugoslavia (Radar), the Middle East (Selim Ramia and Co) and Australia/New Zealand (Madman). Sales will continue at Cannes.

“The selection of ‘Mirai’ in Cannes isn’t only the recognition of one film but also that of a great auteur whose language could only be animation,” Charades said in a statement. “That choice illustrates the evolution of Mamoru Hosoda, today one of the most important animation directors. [Anime and Wild Bunch] are the perfect partners to accompany the film both in Cannes and in theaters.”

“Mirai” marks Hosoda’s follow-up to his critical and commercial hit “The Boy and the Beast,” which was nominated for a Golden Seashell at San Sebastián. Hosoda’s notable credits include “Summer Wars,” which competed at Locarno, and “Wolf Children.”

“Mirai” is produced by Hosoda’s longstanding collaborator, Yuichiro Saito, the president of Studio Chizu.

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