I can hear the ocean, and I can see a forgotten classic coming to North America.
Earlier today, distributor GKids announced that they will give Studio Ghibli’s Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru) a theatrical run in North America. The feature will make its début on December 28, at New York’s IFC Center. A wider release will begin in January.
The full list of theaters includes:
|New York, NY||IFC Center||December 28, 2016|
|Toronto, ON||TIFF||January 3, 2017|
|Albuquerque, NM||Guild Cinema||January 6, 2017|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||TBD||January 7, 2017|
|Kansas City, MO||Screenland Armour||January 9, 2017|
|Portland, OR||OMSI Empirical Theatre||January 11, 2017|
|Los Angeles, CA||American Cinematheque||January 12, 2017|
|Chicago, IL||Gene Siskel Film Center||January 13, 2017|
|Denver, CO||Denver Film Society||January 13, 2017|
|Santa Ana, CA||The Frida cinema||January 13, 2017|
|Tempe, AZ||Harkins Valley Art||January 13, 2017|
|Waterloo, ON||Princess Cinema||January 13, 2017|
|Atlanta, GA||Plaza Theatre||January 13, 2017|
|San Francisco, CA||Roxie Theatre||January 16, 2017|
|Fairfax, VA||Angelika Mosaic||January 17, 2017|
|Washington, DC||Angelika Pop-Up||January 17, 2017|
|Dallas, TX||Angelika Dallas||January 17, 2017|
|Plano, TX||Angelika Plano||January 17, 2017|
|San Diego, CA||Angelika Carmel||January 17, 2017|
|Honolulu, HI||Consolidated Theatres Kahalas||January 17, 2017|
|Pittsburgh, PA||Row House Cinema||January 20, 2017|
|Vancouver, BC||Vancity Theatre||January 20, 2017|
|Columbus, OH||Gateway Film Center||February 9, 2017|
|Cleveland, OH||Cleveland Cinematheque||February 23, 2017|
|Port Orchard, WA||Dragonfly Cinema||March 10, 2017|
Ocean Waves was a TV special, which first aired in May 1993. The feature was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (Princess Nine, House of Five Leaves), with Katsuya Kondo (Kiki’s Delivery Service, From Up On Poppy Hill) providing character designs. Keiko Niwa (From Up On Poppy Hill, The Secret World of Arrietty) wrote the film’s screenplay.
GKids describes the Ocean Waves as:
Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships.
GKids is listed as the film’s distributor on the company’s website. Ocean Waves is one of two films to elude Tokuma Shoten and Walt Disney Company’s 1996 distribution deal, which granted Disney the license to all other Studio Ghibli films. Grave of the Fireflies is the other film that wasn’t included.
Only Yesterday was included in the Disney deal, though it didn’t receive a North American release until GKids’s theatrical run in July.