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GKIDS Announce 'Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theatre Volume One' January Release

Studio Ponoc, the animation studio founded by former Studio Ghibli staff, made waves with their first feature Mary And The Witch's Flower. The studio announced their second theatrical release earlier this year and it was not what anyone was expecting. Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Film Theatre Volume One is (as the name suggests) an anthology film. US distributor GKIDS Films have announced that they will release the film in North American cinemas in January 2019, following its premiere at this month's upcoming Animation Is Film Festival.

The film features three different shorts. Kanini & Kanino is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of Mary And The Witch's Flower and When Marnie Was ThereLife Ain't Gonna Lose is directed by Yoshiyuki Momose a close collaborator of the late Isao Takahata. Invisible is directed by Akihiko Yamashita, a key animator on many Ghibli productions.

GKIDS have released descriptions of the three shorts:

In Kanini & Kanino, directed by Academy Award®-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, Mary and The Witch's Flower), two crab brothers embark on a grand underwater adventure to find their father, after an accident carries him far downstream. Depicted as tiny beings in a large and merciless natural world, the brothers must evade a series of freshwater predators if they are ever to reunite with their family again.

In Life Ain't Gonna Lose, acclaimed animator Yoshiyuki Momose (key animator on Isao Takahata's films at Studio Ghibli, and animation director of the video game Ni No Kuni) makes his directorial debut with a very different kind of story. Eight-year-old Shun loves baseball and to run. Only eggs defeat him. With the love of his strong-willed mother (Maggie Q), Shun faces the challenge of an everyday life threatened by a deadly allergy.

Lastly, in Invisible (the directing debut of Akihiko Yamashita, a talented key animator on many of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki's best-known films) a man wakes up one morning and goes through his day in a world where no one can see him. But just when he seems to have reached his limit, a momentous decision gives him the chance to reclaim his humanity.

The anthology will screen in both subtitled and English dubbed versions. The exact release date will be announced at a later date.