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'On-Gaku: Our Sound' Rocks US Cinemas This December


American animation fans' best friend GKIDS Films has like every other theatrical distributor had much of their 2020 plans thrown into disarray by forces beyond their control. Luckily though, in the year's later months they have been able to give a few titles as wide a release as circumstances allowed, and we have seen Lupin III: The First and Wolfwalkers play on the big screen in the US. The next film to follow in their footsteps is the award-winning independent anime feature On-Gaku: Our Sound.

On-Gaku: Our Sound was a labor of love more than seven years in the making. Director Kenji Iwaisawa hand-drew most of the more than 40,000 frames that make up the film. The film won the Nelvana Grand Prize  at the 2020 Ottowa International Animation Festival and was a selection in the Contrechamp category at this year's Annecy International Animation Festival.

Based on a manga by Hiroyuki Ohashi, the musical comedy follows three deliquent high-schoolers dreaming of becoming rockstars. The trio  form a band in order to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang and just for the joy of jamming out. The film has some impressive musical credentials behind it too, as it features a lead preformance by Japanese alr-rock legend Shintrao Sakamoto (formerly of Psychedelic rockers Yura Yura Teikoku, latterly an acclaimed solo artist, composer and producer).

The film will come to select US cinemas on December 11, including San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Boston and more. (It's expected that cinemas in LA and NYC will still be closed). More details to follow, but you can sign up to be notified of updates  at the film's website.

When you’re a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock ‘n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out. Animated almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa, and featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND brings its own sound and vision to the Hiroyuki Ohashi manga from which it was adapted. With pitch-perfect deadpan humor, the film presents a highly original take on the beloved slacker comedy: a lo-fi buddy film with a blaring musical finale that will leave you wanting an immediate encore.

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