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Cannes Hosts World Premiere of Mamoru Hosoda's 'Mirai'

There are few events in the film calendar as prestigious as the annual Cannes festival. Yet while it likes to promote itself as the centre of the film world, it's not particularly known for showcasing animation. Most animation that screens during the festival has had to settle for screening out of competition, or more recently, been limited to the dedicated Animation Day.

So any animated film which manages to break through can be seen as a pretty big deal. A couple of years ago, Michael Dudok de Wit's The Red Turtle went on to win The Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category. Now, Mamoru Hosoda's new feature Mirai is to be the next animated feature to make it to competition. In this case, however, it will be competing in the prestigious Director's Fortnight.

Very few animated features have received this honour- and those that have, including My Life As A Courgette and The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, have gone on to considerable success.

Hosoda's new film follows a spoiled four-year-old called Kun struggling to get used to the recent arrival of his new baby sister. Via a magical gateway, he has an unexpected encounter with the older version of his "little" sister and together they set of on a series of adventures.

Hosoda is writer and director on the project, which comes from Studio Chuzu, the production company he established in 2011. The film's premise recalls themes from several of his past films, particularly the time travel element of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the family themes of Summer Wars and Wolf Children.

It's notable that the film's international release seems to be going back to simply "Mirai". The Japanese title is Mirai No Mirai, which translates as Mirai Of The Future.

Mirai will receive its world premiere at Cannes- the first anime ever to do so- ahead of its release in Japan this July.  GKIDS Films will release the film in North America and Anime Limited will release the film in the UK and Ireland, with both set for unconfirmed dates later in 2018.

This year's Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8-19.