Makoto Shinkai’s highly anticipated new film, Suzumeto have its international premiere at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, Crunchyroll announced Monday.
The film’s inclusion in the Berlin International Film Festival is a major milestone, as it is 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 film, which has its world premiere in April, premiered 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 took place in Japan twelve years ago,” Shinkai said 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 upcoming international release will hopefully give me the answer to these questions. And I can’t thank our team members enough for their unparalleled talent and tenacity throughout the film’s production. On behalf of the entire team, I would also like to thank all the fans who have cheered us on, 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 the ruins as if shielded from any disaster. Suzume, seemingly drawn by her power, reaches for the button. Doors begin to open one after the other across Japan, unleashing destruction on anyone in the vicinity. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.”