Acquisition Archives - GKIDS Films
June 25, 2020

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO “INU-OH”

GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to
“INU-OH”
The New Feature Film from Acclaimed Director Masaaki Yuasa

Work In Progress Presented at the 2020 Annecy Film Festival

© “INU-OH” Film Partners

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, Japanese production company Science SARU INC. and its partner Asmik Ace, Inc., Japanese production, distribution and sales company, announced that GKIDS has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature INU-OH, the latest feature from acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa (Ride Your Wave, Keep Your Hands Off Of Eizokuen!). Presented as a work in progress at the 2020 Annecy Film Festival, the musical animated feature tells the story of the friendship between the legendary 14th century Noh performer Inu-Oh, and the blind Biwa player Tomona. As the two rise from hardship to stardom through their creative partnership, they may break each other’s curse. The film features character creation from manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet), who previously collaborated with Yuasa on the anime adaptation of Matsumoto’s series Ping Pong the Animation. INU-OH marks GKIDS’ fifth title from visionary director Masaaki Yuasa, following local releases of Lu Over the Wall, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Mind Game, and most recently, Ride Your Wave. GKIDS will theatrically release the film in 2021.

David Jesteadt of GKIDS and Mai Kato of Asmik Ace negotiated the deal for North American rights.

“With each new project, Masaaki Yuasa continues to push in new and exciting directions across genres and styles,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “INU-OH is already one of our most anticipated films of 2021, and we can’t wait to share more of Yuasa’s remarkable work with his fellow fans.”

Eunyoung Choi of Science SARU, producer of INU-OH, said “GKIDS is no doubt one of the most acclaimed animation distributors with an impressive catalogue of films, and we are so happy that they are releasing INU-OH in North America.  The way people see Japanese culture is getting much deeper, more diversified and sophisticated these days. This is the best timing ever to bring real, fascinating Japanese traditional culture to the fellow fans in North America, and to the world!  Masaaki Yuasa and Science SARU are teaming up again, taking on the challenge to show a unique view of Noh with a fresh new look.  We are looking forward to sharing with you.”

Fumie Takeuchi of Asmik Ace, producer of INU-OH, said “I have been excited to deliver audiences this new film next year, being created with director Masaaki Yuasa, producer Eunyoung Choi and their production team, whom I worked for The Tatami Galaxy together. GKIDS is the distributor who has been bringing wonderful animations of the world to the North American audiences with passion and affection for more than 10 years. I am so happy and reassured having GKIDS to this brand-new voyage with director Masaaki Yuasa.”

SYNOPSIS
Inu-Oh is born with unique physical characteristics, and the horrified adults cover every inch of his body with garments, including a mask on his face. One day, he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player, and as Tomona plays a delicate song of tangled fate, Inu-Oh discovers an incredible ability to dance.

Inu-Oh and Tomona become business partners and inseparable friends, using their creative gifts to survive on the margins of society, as song after song gain them notoriety and propel them to stardom.  Through the songs, Inu-Oh mesmerizes his audiences on stage, and gradually begins to transform into someone of unequaled beauty. But why is Tomona blind? Why was Inu-Oh born with unique characteristics? It is a story about the friendship of Inu-Oh and Tomona, who dance and sing to get to the truth and break each other’s curse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCEPT CHARACTER DESIGNS BY TAIYO MATSUMOTO © “INU-OH” Film Partners

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June 17, 2020

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO “ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND”

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO

“ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND”

Winner of the Nelvana Grand Prize at the 2019 Ottawa International Animation Festival
And Official Selection at the 2020 Annecy Film Festival

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND from director Kenji Iwaisawa, based on the manga by Hiroyuki Ohashi. In production for over seven years, ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND is composed of over 40,000 hand drawn frames, using the rotoscoping animation technique. The film won the Nelvana Grand Prize at the 2019 Ottawa International Animation Festival, and has been selected for the Contrechamp Competition section at the upcoming 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. GKIDS will release the film in 2020.

SYNOPSIS
When you’re a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock ‘n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out.
Animated almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa, and featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND brings its own sound and vision to the Hiroyuki Ohashi manga from which it was adapted. With pitch-perfect deadpan humor, the film presents a highly original take on the beloved slacker comedy: a lo-fi buddy film with a blaring musical finale that will leave you wanting an immediate encore.

Rodney Uhler of GKIDS and Emico Kawai of Nikkatsu Corporation negotiated the deal for North American rights.

On-Gaku: Our Sound reminds us of our favorite indie comedies while remaining a wholly unique film,” said Rodney Uhler, GKIDS’ Director of Special Projects. “Kenji Iwaisawa’s remarkable hand-drawn work has created a film full of quotable lines, distinctive characters and infectious style. It remains one of the most fun viewing experiences we’ve had all year, and we can’t wait to share the film with audiences.”

 

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March 26, 2020

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO ANIMATED FEATURE “LUPIN THE 3RD: THE FIRST”

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FILM MARKS FIRST TIME IN CGI
FOR STORIED ANIMATION FRANCHISE

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature LUPIN THE 3RD: THE FIRST, a new animated feature from director/screenwriter Takashi Yamazaki (STAND BY ME DORAEMON, DRAGON QUEST: YOUR STORY). The “LUPIN THE 3RD” franchise, from original creator Monkey Punch, began in 1967 and has spanned a variety of manga, TV, game, theme park ride, and musical adaptations, including The Castle of Cagliostro (1979), the feature film debut from the acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki. GKIDS will release LUPIN THE 3RD: THE FIRST theatrically in 2020 in both Japanese and an all-new English language dub. The deal for North American rights was negotiated by GKIDS President David Jesteadt and Sam Maseba, Director of Licensing for TMS Entertainment.

“As someone who has been a fan of Lupin III since The Castle of Cagliostro, I was blown away by quality of animation and storytelling in LUPIN THE 3RD: THE FIRST,” said GKIDS President David Jesteadt. “Director Takashi Yamazaki has taken such incredible care and detail in creating Lupin’s first adventure in CG, and I am hopeful that audiences fall in love with the film as much as I have.”

Lupin III has been stealing hearts of audiences of all ages for over 50 years, and we’re proud to be able to present the latest evolution of the world’s greatest thief,” said TMS Entertainment, Vice President Masami Tokunaga. “We are truly excited to be collaborating with GKIDS to bring this amazing film to our fans in North America.”

SYNOPSIS

The iconic “gentleman thief” Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that have made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new.

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December 19, 2019

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN THEATRICAL AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS TO SATOSHI KON’S CLASSIC ANIMATED FEATURE “TOKYO GODFATHERS”

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN THEATRICAL AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS TO SATOSHI KON’S CLASSIC ANIMATED FEATURE

“TOKYO GODFATHERS”

FILM TO BE RE-RELEASED IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE IN 2020

FEATURING NEW 4K RESTORATION AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE VERSION

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced it has acquired North American theatrical and home entertainment distribution rights for the critically-acclaimed animated feature TOKYO GODFATHERS, by director Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paprika). GKIDS previously re-released a remastered version of Satoshi Kon’s groundbreaking psychological thriller Perfect Blue in 2018, and ASIFA-Hollywood recently announced that Kon would posthumously receive their Winsor McCay Award, the organization’s award for lifetime achievement in animation. GKIDS will release a new 4K restoration of Tokyo Godfathers early next year, in both the original Japanese language and a new English language dub.

“Satoshi Kon remains one of the animated medium’s most celebrated and visionary storytellers,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “With the re-release of Tokyo Godfathers, a timely work of deep humanism and beauty, we are proud to play a part in sharing his legacy with audiences old and new.”

SYNOPSIS

In modern-day Tokyo, three homeless people’s lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve. As the New Year fast approaches, these three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts, as they learn to face their future, together.

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July 2, 2019

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO “RIDE YOUR WAVE”

GKIDS ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO

“RIDE YOUR WAVE”

FROM ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR MASAAKI YUASA

 

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature RIDE YOUR WAVE, which recently premiered at the Annecy film festival in competition. The film will receive a theatrical release early next year.

RIDE YOUR WAVE marks GKIDS’ fourth title from visionary director Masaaki Yuasa, following local releases of Lu Over the Wall, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, and Mind Game. RIDE YOUR WAVE tells the complicated love story of a surfer named Hinako and a firefighter named Minato. Their bond is tested after Minato tragically loses his life in a rescue attempt, only to reappear from the water to Hinako whenever she sings their favorite song. GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt and Fuji Creative Corp’s Yoshiko Nakayama negotiated the all-rights deal.

“We are huge fans of Masaaki Yuasa, and are always excited to see what he will do next,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “We were charmed and moved by his characteristically unique and uplifting take on a romantic story, including a music hook that you won’t be able to get out of your head.”

SYNOPSIS

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.

Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?

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