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Elysian Film Group Aquires 'The Boy And Heron' UK Rights

It's not every year that you get a new Hayao Miyazaki film. And considering he originally planned to retire after The Wind Rises, we're lucky to get one at all. Fortunately for us, the master just couldn't stay away, and the resulting film The Boy And The Heron is arriving this year.

The film opened in Japanese cinemas on July 14, setting a new Box Office record for Studio Ghibli. The film has kicked off its festival run with a sold-out screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will screen at other festivals around the world including The New York Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival and San Sebastian International Film Festival.

We've known for some time that GKIDS Films would be handling the release of the film in the United States and Canada. Fans in the UK, however, have been left guessing how long they would have to wait to see the film for themselves.

The wait is now over, as per Variety it has been confirmed that the film will be coming to the UK later this year via Elysian Film Group. The film was acquired for the UK jointly by  Elysian Film Group, Anonymous Content and Bleecker Street.

The news is something of a surprise as up until Earwig and The Witch, every other Studio Ghibli film has been distributed in the UK by StudioCanal.

The companies jointly commented, “Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are second-to-none as artists and innovators, and we could not be more proud to bring this beautiful, emotional film to audiences across the U.K.”

Set during World War II, 12-year-old Mahito loses his mother in the firebombing of Tokyo. Moving to the countryside, he struggles to adjust to the reality that his father has married his mother's pregnant sister. Encountering a talking heron, he discovers a gateway to another world where it's promised he will have the chance to see his mother again.

The film is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Toshio Suzuki, with an original score composed by Joe Hisaishi. It is inspired by the Japanese novel How Do You Live? by GenzaburĊ Yoshino, from which the original Japanese title is taken.

The exact UK release date is to be confirmed- although it's likely to be close to the US release date of December 8. We're also not sure if the UK will have any IMAX screenings (the film is the first Ghibli movie to be released in the format in Japan).

If you're in London there will be a couple of chances to catch the film before that. The Boy and The Heron will have two screenings at the BFI London Film Festival on Sunday, October 8 and Sunday, October 15 at the Royal Festival Hall.