Makoto Shinkai’s highly anticipated new film, Suzume, is set to have its international premiere at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, Crunchyroll announced on Monday.
The film’s inclusion in the Berlin International Film Festival is a huge milestone, as its the first anime film to be screened as an official selection and in competition at the event in two decades, the last of which — Spirited Away — came in 2002. The movie, which will premiere globally in April, debuted in Japan in November 2022 and became the country’s fourth-highest-grossing film of 2022.
“At its core, Suzume is based on the massive disaster that occurred in Japan twelve years ago,” said Shinkai in a statement. “I’m eager to see how this film translates to international audiences: what makes sense, what doesn’t, and what common ground we have across cultures. The film’s imminent international release will hopefully give me the answer to those questions. And, I cannot thank our team members enough for their unprecedented talent and perseverance throughout the film’s production. On behalf of the entire team, I would also like to give thanks to all the fans who have cheered us on, making Suzume possible.”
Shinkai is expected to be in attendance during the film’s run at the Berlin International Film Festival, along with actor Nanoka Hara and producer Genki Kawamura.
“17-year-old Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu when she encounters a young man who tells her, ‘I;m looking for a door,’” reads the film’s synopsis. “What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob. Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.”