NY Int'l Children's Festival Hosts Anime U.S. Premieres

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) will host U.S. premieres of three anime features as well as several shorts during its 2010 Festival from February 26 thru March 21.

Kicking off the festival will be the U.S. premiere of Mamoru Hosada's Summer Wars. This cyberpunk/sci-fi story revolves around Kenji, a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job – passing himself off as Natsuki’s boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.

NYICFF will also host the U.S. premiere of MADHOUSE's "Mai Mai Miracle" anime film. The story is set in 1955 in a town in southwestern Japan, where a nine-year-old girl named Shinko has an ancient family connection to a thousand-year-old province known as Suo. Shinko joins Kiiko, a new transfer student from her school, on a magical adventure. Mai Mai Miracle will premiere on February 27 with a repeat showing on March 6.

Next up is Production I.G's "Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror" (Hottarake no Shima - Haruka to Maho no Kagami) fantasy film. The computer-animated feature follows a girl named Haruka as she discovers where all of our childhood keepsakes and memorabilia go. Creatures from a different dimension gather these trinkets and forgotten treasures as their owners grow up. With their booty, the creatures have built their own city called Oblivion Island. Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror will also premiere on February 27 with a repeat showing on March 6.

On February 27 and March 13, NYICFF will show the U.S. theatrical premiere of Yasuhiro Yoshiura's Time of Eve (Eve no Jikan) net anime series. The festival will show one 15-minute episode of the series. As a huge fan of "Mizu no Kotoba," I'm especially glad to see this addition by Yoshiura and Studio Rikka.

For more details and the full schedule and line-up, be sure to visit the NYICFF site. [Source: ANN]

UPDATE (2/22/2010): Director Mamoru Hosada will make a special guest appearance at the "Summer Wars" premiere.

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