Isao Takahata Brings Princess Kaguya to the Toronto International Film Festival


I Miss Bionix doesn’t cover film festivals or convention screenings. There’s a few reasons for that; those screenings are highly local and time sensitive with little lead time. I’m also really lazy, so keeping up with a barrage of convention and festival coverage would be more than I can handle. I made an exception to covering film festivals a few years ago when TIFF had a heavy anime slate of films. While there’s not much for an anime fan at TIFF 2014, there’s something I need to make note of: Studio Ghibli’s and Isao Takahata’s Princess Kaguya will receive its North American debut at the festival. Not only that, Takahata will be present at the film’s first screening on September 5th.

The less prolific of the Studio Ghibli founders, Isao Takahata returned to direct The Tale of The Princess Kaguya from a 14-year hiatus after the completion of 1999’s My Neighbors the Yamadas. His newest film premiered in Japan last year and is an adaptation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, which is a piece of 10th-century Japanese folklore.

Okina (voiced by Takeo Chii) is a bamboo cutter in ancient rural Japan. One day in the forest, he finds a tiny baby in the folds of a bamboo shoot. He brings the creature home to his wife Ounaa (Nobuko Miyamoto) and they decide to keep her and raise her as a princess. She is clearly not of this world. Kaguya (Aki Asakura) grows at an unnatural rate, soon maturing into an uncommonly beautiful young woman. Since Okina has now also found a cache of gold and treasure in the forest, every suitor wants Kaguya. But this is not a fairytale of courtship and marriage. True to the Studio Ghibli that brought us Ponyo and Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya follows this strange young female as she creates her own identity.

In addition to the film’s premiere on the 5th at 4:15PM, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya will also be screened on the 6th and 14th. You can buy tickets, find showtimes and theatre listings at TIFF’s website. All screenings during the film festival will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

Those unable to make the TIFF screenings don’t have to wait long for a less limited release. Gkids announced an October 17th theatrical release accompanied by a dub starring Chloe Moretz. It’s been announced for North America, but I don’t have any experience with the screenings of Gkids’ stuff in Canada.

While Takahata hasn’t officially called it a career like Miyazaki, it’s important to recognize that this is his first film in 14 years. With the growing uncertainty towards Studio Ghibli’s future, it might be one of the last chances to see a new Takahata film on the big screen. Those making the September 5th screening are definitely in for an experience that likely won’t be replicated.

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya won’t be the only Ghibli related feature screened at TIFF this year. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary shot during the production of The Wind Rises and Kaguya, will also receive its North American premiere during the festival. You can find all of the important info here.

Just last month, TIFF hosted a Mamoru Oshii event. The acclaimed director even did a live interview. TIFF also hosts an annual Ghibli Collection.

You can find a listing for all of the films screened at TIFF 2014 here.

Via: Anime News Network

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