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Makoto Shinkai's 'Suzume' To Play Berlin Film Festival

Makoto Shinkai
is one of the biggest names in anime. With Your Name and Weathering With You he has released two of the biggest anime features of all time and made a name for himself worldwide. This means that any new film from him is going to generate a lot of attention.

His latest film Suzume was released in Japan last November, taking over $99 million at the box office to date. It has been announced that the film will make its international debut at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival aka Berlinale.  It will screen in competition, making it the first anime film to do so since 2002. Shinkai will attend the festival alongside voice actor Nanoka Hara and producer Genki Kawamura. Berlinale will run from Februray 16-26.

"At its core, ‘Suzume’ is based on the massive disaster that occurred in Japan twelve years ago," said Shinkai. "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."

"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," added Hara. "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!"

Crunchyroll will release the film theatrically worldwide (excluding Asia) this April, in association with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wild Bunch International and Eurozoom. More details will be revealed nearer the time.

Official Synopsis

On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—

“Suzume” is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation. 

Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.

—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.

Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…

Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts. 

Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.