This year’s TIFF has a distinctly anime flair. Hiroyuki Okiura and Production IG’s “A Letter To Momo” will make its world premiere, and Goro Miyazaki’s sophomore Ghilbi effort, “From Up On Poppy Hill” will make its international premiere at the Toronto film festival. Previously, the fest has played host to some unique anime productions, but this year it has scored some major premieres.
Hiroyuki Okiura’s “A Letter To Momo” is a tale about a girl struggling with the aftermath of her father’s passing. She finds a letter from her father, simple reading “Dear Momo”. She ponders what her father would have written. But she has deal with moving from Tokyo, into the family home in the small island of Shio. There she notices weird happenings going on. Things are disappearing, and she doesn’t know why. Here Momo decides to find out what’s causing this, and in turn takes part in her own coming of age story. After more than ten years, the director of “Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade” returns with this beautifully animated tale seven years in the making. It makes its world premiere at TIFF September 10 at 4PM in the AMC 6 venue. To see all show times click here.
After the tumultuous production of “Tales of Earthsea”, many may have thought Goro Miyazaki would hang up the directing chair, and pursue another line of work at Studio Ghili. Well, it seems many were wrong, as the young director has returned with his sophomore effort, “From Up On Poppy Hill”. This film chronicles the story of 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the promise it brought to Japan, centred by shy highschool student Umi. Umi lives a very empty live. Her father was killed in the war, and her mother travels a lot. She’s often left to think to herself in her job managing a boarding house. But this boarding house is scheduled for demolition in the city’s modernization projects. Umi, and those of the boarding house derided this decision, and will attempt to keep their history at any cost. Goro Miyazaki’s sophomore effort tells the tale of love flourishing in even the most unexpected of places, and unlike “Tales of Earthsea”, this film has conquered Japanese audiences. “From Up On Poppy Hill” will make its first non-Japanese debut September 8 at 9:30 PM in the Bell sponsored TIFF Lightbox. To see all show times, click here
The festival will also play host to the world premiere of manga-based Smuggler, as well as premieres for Himizu, Kotoko, Monsters Club, Cut, and Space is the Place. All films will be played in their original Japanese audio, with English subtitles.
2011’s Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 8 through the 18.