Mamoru Hosoda's Anime Film BELLE Wins Inaugural Locarno Kids Award

BELLE opened in Japan on July 16

BELLE

 

The Hollywood Reporter reported today that Mamoru Hosoda's latest anime film BELLE, which opened in Japan on July 16, has won the first-ever Locarno Kids Award, a prize "given to someone capable of bringing cinema to younger viewers." Hosoda will be presented with the award via a video link to Japan on August 3 during the ceremony, in which the Piazza Grande will screen BELLE as its Switzerland premiere.

 

Latest trailer for BELLE

 

Locarno will also be screening Hosoda's previous original films, including Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast, as part of its children programming at the festival. Summer Wars previously was a part of the 2009 program of the festival. The festival will also be introducing kids to anime and techniques used by the medium.

 

BELLE will be released in Japanese theaters on July 16, with GKIDS bringing the film stateside sometime in Winter 2021. GKIDS describes the film as such:

 

Suzu, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, lives with her father in a village surrounded by nature in Kochi prefecture after her mother died in an accident when she was a little girl. Suzu used to love singing with her mother more than anything else, but after her death, she has not been able to sing.

 

Writing songs is the only thing that gives Suzu any comfort until one day she is invited by her best friend to enter a virtual community in the Internet called U with over 5 billion members worldwide. In U, she can live another life as an AS, which is what avatars are called there. Although Suzu can’t sing in real life, singing comes natural to her in U as an AS known as Belle. Belle quickly captures the attention of U’s citizens with her songs and becomes a worldwide superstar diva.

 

The day of Belle’s huge concert viewed by millions of AS around the world— A mysterious presence known as the Dragon suddenly bursts into the concert hall. Her concert is ruined by the violent, arrogant Dragon. Belle, who wants to know why the Dragon suffers so much pain, approaches him. Dragon, on the other hand, slowly opens his heart to Belle’s gentle singing voice.

 

Soon, the search for the Dragon’s identity (unveiling) starts around the world.

 

A group of AS who claim to be the protectors of justice start their relentless pursuit of the Dragon who they believe disrupts order in U. The Dragon becomes the target of trolling and abuse both in U and the real world. The more people persecute him in both worlds, the more Belle feels stronger to find him and heal his heart.

 

Will Suzu’s voice from a remote corner in the real world reach this single, unknown individual in a world of billions? A miracle occurs when the two worlds merge into one.

 

Another reality. Another you. You’re not alone anymore.

 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

 

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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram

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