First an Oscar nom, now an Annie. Things are looking up for The Red Turtle.
Yesterday, the industry came together in Los Angeles for the 44th Annual Annie Awards. At the event, it was revealed that Studio Ghibli & Wild Bunch co-production The Red Turtle won the award for “Best Animated Feature-Independent.”
Other nominees in the category included Production I.G’s Miss Hokusai, Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name., Long Way North, and My Life As A Zucchini. Makoto Shinkai and Red Turtle director Michael de Wit were both nominated for “Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Feature Production” though the award went to Zootopia directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore.
The Red Turtle is the first theatrical feature from Studio Ghibli since 2013’s The Wind Rises. The studio co-produced the feature with French company Wild Bunch. Michael Dudok de Wit (The Monk and the Fish) directed the feature, while Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, The Tale of Princess Kaguya) served as artistic director. The script was written by French director and screenwriter Pascale Ferran (Lady Chatterly, Bird People).
The feature debuted at France’s Cannes Film Festival on May 18, which was followed by a wider French release on June 29. The film won a Special Jury Prize at the festival.
Toho is distributing The Red Turtle in Japan. Sony Pictures distributes the film in North America under their “Sony Classics” label. They screened the feature in New York and Los Angeles on January 20.
Sony describes the film as:
Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, The Red Turtle recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.
Sony started streaming a two-minute treaser trailer for the title in September. You can check it out below: