GKIDS Films has acquired North American rights for When Marnie Was There, the latest theatrical film from Japan’s Studio Ghibli. The film, based on the children’s novel by Joan G. Robinson and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty), tells the story of Anna, a lonely young girl who meets and befriends a mysterious girl named Marnie at an abandoned house after she moves to a new seaside home.
Gkids has acquired theatrical, non-theatrical, home video and television rights for When Marnie Was There, and the film is slated for a theatrical release in North America for Spring 2015. Marnie was released in Japanese theaters on July 19, 2014 and is presently dated for a March 18, 2015 Blu-ray release in Japan. An English dub for the film is being produced by Studio Ghibli’s Geoffrey Wexler, who has also supervised English dub production for Goro Miyazaki’s From Up On Poppy Hill, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Mr. Wexler negotiated the distribution deal for Marnie with GKids’ Eric Beckman.
[via TheWrap; the official press release follows]
GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS FOR STUDIO GHIBLI’S
WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE
FROM “THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY” DIRECTOR, HIROMASA YONEBAYASHI
BASED ON BRITISH NOVEL BY JOAN G. ROBINSON
FILM TO RECEIVE SPRING 2015 RELEASE AND AWARDS RUN
New York, NY – January 13, 2015 – GKIDS, a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences, announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Studio Ghibli for the North American rights to the upcoming animated feature WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (Omoide no Marnie). Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty) and based on the British children’s novel by Joan G. Robinson, the film tells the story of a troubled young girl, Anna, who finds herself drawn to the abandoned Marsh House and a mysterious girl Marnie who appears in the window.
The deal was negotiated by Eric Beckman from GKIDS and Geoffrey Wexler from Studio Ghibli, with GKIDS taking all theatrical, non-theatrical, home video and television rights in North America. An English language version is being produced by Studio Ghibli and Geoffrey Wexler. The film is slated for a spring 2015 theatrical release and awards submissions.
GKIDS and Studio Ghibli previously partnered on the animated The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, one of the best reviewed films of 2014, the 2014 documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, and the 2013 animated From Up on Poppy Hill. GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for the Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others.
Sent from her foster home in the city one summer to a sleepy town by the sea in Hokkaido, Anna dreams her days away among the marshes. She believes she’s outside the invisible magic circle to which most people belong – and shuts herself off from everyone around her, wearing her “ordinary face”. Anna never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, who does not judge Anna for being just what she is. But no sooner has Anna learned the loveliness of friendship than she begins to wonder about her newfound friend…
Based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson, When Marnie Was There is the newest film from Studio Ghibli, and the second feature film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of The Secret World of Arrietty.
ABOUT STUDIO GHIBLI
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and is one of the most successful and well-respected animation studios in the world. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Miyazaki and Takahata, Studio Ghibli’s films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling. The films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture, and have garnered worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2002, and in November 2014, Hayao Miyazaki received an Honorary Award at the Governors Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a lifetime achievement in animation.
GKIDS is a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences. The company has scored four Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations in the past five years – the most for an independent distributor – with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, and Ernest & Celestine in 2014. Current releases include The Tale of The Princess Kaguya from Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata, and Tomm Moore’s highly anticipated Song of the Sea. GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki’s famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others. GKIDS is longtime producer of the New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival, an Oscar-qualifying event and North America’s largest festival of film for children and teens. NYICFF jury members include Uma Thurman, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Gus van Sant, Christine Vachon, Henry Selick and James Schamus. www.gkids.com/films