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GKIDS Picks Up 'Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko', Announces 'Belle' IMAX Release

© 2021 MOVIZ/“FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO” Production Committee

New York-based distributor GKIDS Films has -understandably- had a quiet couple of years. Now, as the theatrical market is beginning to recover, they are feeling confident enough to look to the future. 2022 already boasts some big hitters in the form of Mamoru Hosoda's Belle and Masaaki Yuasa's Inu-Oh. GKIDS have now announced (via Twitter) that Studio 4°C's Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko will be joining them.

The film was released in Japan in June of 2021 and had its North American premiere as part of Montreal's Fantasia Festival in August, where it was awarded a Special Mention in the Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Feature. It also screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Warsaw Film Festival, The Bucheon International Animation Festival and the Animation Is Film festival.

Ayumi Watanabe, director of Children Of The Sea, takes the helm for a very different film. The comedy features the misfortunes of the eponymous Lady Nikuko, a child-like, pure-hearted single mother, who lives on a houseboat with her only daughter.

The film is based on a novel by Kanako Nishi with a script penned by Satomi Ohshima.  Director Watanabe said: 

To everyone in the United States! This is terrific news! I am very excited that this film will be shown to you all. Occasionally, I feel that I am inspired by the art that is American entertainment. I’m revealing this for the first time here, but back when Nikuko didn’t have a soundtrack or theme song, and I was planning out this film, there was a song I always listened to. I heard that a long time ago, Americans hummed this song to overcome predicaments. It’s a great story that makes you perceive the power of entertainment. It had a substantial influence on the spirit of this movie. It would be nice if that’s conveyed to you all! Many thanks to the excellent song from America, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”

GKIDS will release Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko sometime in 2022.  Studio 4°C's previous film Poupelle Of Chimney Town has been picked up by Eleven Arts and will be released in US cinemas in December.

GKIDS have also announced more details for their upcoming release of Belle in January. It has been announced that the film will have special IMAX previews on January 12, ahead of the full national release on January 14. Tickets are now on sale at participating venues or via the website.

Belle is a modern sci-fi spin on Beauty and The Beast and features a socially-awkward teen who becomes a virtual idol in cyberspace. For the first time. Hosoda brought on some of the leading talents from animation overseas including Disney artist Jin Kim and Wolfwalkers directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. Released in Japan in August of 2021, Belle has gone on to become Hosoda's highest-grossing film ever. The film was screened as official selections at Cannes, the BFI London Film Festival and Animation Is Film.

A new theatrical poster was also released, check it out below.