The New York International Children's Film Festival is back once again this year, running from March 1 through March 24, with a roster full of top-notch animated productions that are not just for children but people of all ages.
This year's roster has two entries sure to be of major interest to anime fans: Studio Ghibli's Up on Poppy Hill and Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children.
Up on Poppy Hill, written by Studio Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki, is set in 1960s Yokohama, and involves a romance between two high schoolers against the backdrop of Japan's post-WWII recovery and preparation for the 1964 Olympics (a major source of local pride). But a secret buried in both childrens' pasts must be confronted before they can move forward together.
Wolf Children, from the director of The Girl who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, involves a woman who mothers two children who turn out to be half-wolves, and takes them to the countryside so that they can grow up away from the scrutiny of an uncomprehending world.
More details about the festival from the website:
"NYICFF was founded in 1997 to promote intelligent, passionate, provocative cinematic works for ages 3-18 and to help define a more compelling film for kids. Since its launch, the event has grown to become the largest festival for children and teens in North America, with an audience of over 25,000 attending the most recent event. Since 2000, all screenings have sold out in advance."
Also screening at the festival is Welcome to the Space Show, which I screened at Otakon 2010, and which still doesn't have formal distribution outside of festival appearances. A gang of kids in the countryside rescue what they think is a dog, but which turns out to be an alien who whisks them away on a whirlwind tour of the universe.
Tickets are on sale now, and it's recommended that you purchase them early, as showings for the NYICFF sell out quickly and consistently!
Image: From Up On Poppy Hill © 2011 - Chizuru Takahashi - Tetsuro Sayama - GNDHDDT. Image courtesy NYICFF.