Studio Chizu Reveals More Details on the Highly Anticipated Feature Film Coming to Theaters in Japan in Summer 2021!
What You Need to Know:
- Studio Chizu is proud to give the world its first peek into Mamoru Hosoda’s upcoming visionary film, BELLE, with a 30-second teaser. The film will be released in theaters in Japan in the Summer of 2021, which also marks Studio Chizu’s 10th anniversary.
- The protagonist of this story, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl living with her father in a rural town of Kochi -- their town is a textbook definition of depopulation in the Japanese countryside. Wounded by the loss of her mother at a young age, Suzu one day discovers the massive online world, “U,” and dives into this alternate reality as her avatar, Belle. Before long, all of U’s eyes are fixed on Belle (Suzu), when one day the mysterious and infamous Dragon-like figure appears before her.
- “BELLE is the movie that I have always wanted to create,” says Director Mamoru Hosoda, “and I am only able to make this film a reality because of the culmination of my past works. I explore romance, action and suspense on the one hand, and deeper themes such as life and death on the other. I expect this to be a big entertainment spectacle.
- “I have directed films in the past, exploring the implications of the Internet and how our younger generations will transform the world with their own amusement. At the same time, the Internet has a more negative side to it, where people slander others without a second thought, filling it with misinformation. In spite of this, I believe that it is marvel that will expand the possibilities of humanity. I wanted to depict this massive shift in our relationship with the Internet in a way that would pave a path towards our future.
- “The unprecedented events of last year have accelerated the paradigm shift in our online interactions with one another, be it the workplace or our personal lives. As this era continues to change, unbound from the shackles of yesterday’s common sense, capturing this global phenomena felt like an inevitability.
- “Yet, the things that we must cherish, largely remain the same. Legacies we have inherited from generations past, will continue to exist and adapt to the new age and new tools that will now shape it. This shift is more apparent than it has ever been because of the era in which we currently live.
- “I hope you can enjoy our world that is now evolving at the speed of light while savoring those things that really matter to us, in this film.”
Source: Official Press Release
Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age.
She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother’s death was no longer able to sing.
It wasn’t long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world.
When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as “U,” where she takes on her persona, Belle.
We are no longer limited to a single world.
Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside “U” as her avatar, Belle, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of “U.”
Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her...
About the Director, Mamoru Hosoda
Born in 1967. From Toyama Prefecture. In 1991, he joined Toei Doga (Now Toei Animation) where he was an animator before becoming a director. In 1999, he directed his first film for theater release, Digimon: The Movie "Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game!" (2000). He thereafter turned freelance and directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and Summer Wars (2009), garnering attention both domestic and abroad.
In 2011, he co-established animation studio Studio Chizu with producer Yuichiro Saito. Hosoda went on to direct Wolf Children (2012) and The Boy and the Beast (2015) for which he also wrote the screenplay and the stories they were based on. His latest, Mirai (director, screenwriter, author of original story) was screened during the Directors’ Fortnight of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, and in the U.S., it was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 91st Academy Awards and Best Motion Picture-Animated at the 76th Golden Globes and won Best Animated Feature-Independent at the 46th Annie Awards.
About Studio Chizu
Studio Chizu is Director Mamoru Hosoda's headquarters that was established during the production of Wolf Children. Director Hosoda gave the studio its name, Chizu ("map" in Japanese). The main characters in Hosoda’s films possess a vitality and life force for choosing and cultivating a future of one's own free will.
Director Hosoda's philosophy of movies is that "they should serve the public like a park where many people gather.” Studio Chizu is a place that embraces Director Hosoda's thoughts and philosophies on movies and his works. Studio Chizu is most known for its feature-length animated films, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars,” and “Wolf Children.”