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Makoto Shinkai’s ‘Suzume’ to compete at Berlin International Film Festival

Makoto Shinkai's "Suzume"
via Crunchyroll Collection 

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    The Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) has announced that the international premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s latest anime film, “Suzume,” will be part of the festival’s Competition section.

    Set to take place sometime between Feb. 16 and Feb. 26, “Suzume“‘s screening at Berlinale marks the first time an anime film will compete at the festival since 2002 with Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” and Takashi Nakamura’s “A Tree of Palme.”

    Shinkai, best known for his previous widely acclaimed films such as 2016’s “Your Name” and 2019’s “Weathering With You,” will attend the festival alongside producer Genki Kawamura and “Suzume” lead voice actor Nanoka Hara.

    In a recent press release, Shinkai commented on his latest film reaching a historic milestone.

    At its core, ‘Suzume’ is based on the massive disaster that occurred in Japan twelve years ago. I’m eager to see how this film translates to international audiences: what makes sense, what doesn’t, and what common ground we have across cultures. The film’s imminent international release will hopefully give me the answer to those questions. And, I cannot thank our team members enough for their unprecedented talent and perseverance throughout the film’s production. On behalf of the entire team, I would also like to give thanks to all the fans who have cheered us on, making ‘Suzume’ possible.

    Meanwhile, Hara spoke about how excited she is to travel outside of Japan for the first time. 

    As someone who has never been outside my home country, it’s a dream-come-true to attend the Berlin International Film Festival with the ‘Suzume’ team. Time and time again, I’ve been so happy to be a part of this film. I’m looking forward to seeing the international audiences’ reactions at the festival and hope the entire world falls in love with the movie!

    Shinkai’s film follows Suzume, a 17-year-old girl who meets a mysterious man searching for a door.

    After finding and opening the door, Suzume realizes that other doors around Japan have been opened, wreaking havoc across the country.

    International reception for “Suzume” may be pending, but since its domestic debut on Nov. 11, 2022, it has grossed 12.8 billion yen (approximately $98.3 million) and was the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2022 in Japan.

    “Suzume”’s global theatrical release has been scheduled for Apr. 14, 2023.

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