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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

GKIDS Historic 11th Academy Award Nomination: Mamoru Hosoda's, MIRAI

Mamoru Hosoda's, Mirai, the critically-acclaimed Annie (Animation Society) Award nominee is now also an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature. The nomination marks an historic 11th Oscar nod for the Japanese Animation studio since receiving its first nomination in 2010. The studio now has the most nominations for any independent company in the category of animation. The magical and emotional adventure focuses on the ties that bring families together and how family makes us who we are.

In the past nine years, GKIDS has scored an astounding 11 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations. These films include The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, and now Mirai in 2019. And the honors don't end there. Director Hosoda's previous four features have all been awarded the Japan Academy Prize for "Animation of the Year," (Mirai is currently a nominee). Mirai has also garnered two Annie Award nominations including "Best Animated Feature - Independent," and both a Critics Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations. That's a lot of praise for any studio, and particularly impressive for one outside the usual Hollywood mainstream.

Inspired by the Japanese tradition of honoring the family, Mirai is an original story of love passed down through generations. When four-year-old Kun meets his new baby sister, his world of being his parents sole focus disappears. Baby Mirai quickly wins the hearts of the entire family, further alienating Kun. Kun becomes increasingly jealous of baby Mirai. That is until one day he runs off into the garden and encounters a strange guest who claims to be from the past and the future. This is his sister Mirai as a teenager. Together, Kun and teenage Mirai go on a journey through time and space, exploring their family's incredible story.

Upon hearing about the nomination, writer/director Hosoda was overwhelmed with the news, saying, "I have just received word that Mirai has been nominated for the 91st Academy Awards. I am really surprised and also deeply honored. This film is about the everyday life and growth of a young child, depicted in a matter-of-fact way. The fact that it has been chosen with the other films about heroes is very meaningful and significant to me. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for selecting this film."

GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both all audiences. The company also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others. GKIDS also produces an annual LA-based film festival, Animation is Film.

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