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Elysian Film Group, Anonymous Content & Bleecker Street pick up the UK rights to Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron

Elysian Film Group, Anonymous Content and Bleecker Street announced today they have jointly acquired the U.K. rights to The Boy and the Heron, the highly-anticipated new film from legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki – his first film in a decade. Elysian Film Group will release the film in U.K. cinemas later this year.

The Studio Ghibli production opened in Japan this summer surpassing the first four-day box office of Spirited Away (2001), and last week had its international premiere to a rapturous response as opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will have its U.K. Premiere as a Special Presentation at the London Film Festival next month.

You can read our review of the film here.

The Boy and the Heron is a hand-drawn, original story written and directed by the Academy Award®-winning director. Produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, the film features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

The deal was negotiated by Nick Shumaker of Anonymous Content with Danny Perkins of Elysian Film Group and Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street, and Vincent Maraval and Eva Diederix of Goodfellas on behalf of the filmmakers. This acquisition continues the collaboration between the companies across borders in a time of corporate contraction.

The companies jointly commented, “Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are second-to-none as artists and innovators, and we could not be more proud to bring this beautiful, emotional film to audiences across the U.K.”

The deal marks the first time Bleecker Street has directly invested in U.K. distribution and marks their first-ever animated film. Earlier at this year’s TIFF, Bleecker Street acquired the U.S. rights to British comedy Fackham Hall starring Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Thomasin McKenzie, Katherine Waterston, and Emma Laird, which will begin principal photography in early 2024, and is their second collaboration in this market with Elysian Film Group, who will produce, and Anonymous Content. Bleecker’s upcoming highly-anticipated release slate features Meg Ryan’s What Happens Later, starring Ryan alongside David Duchovny, releasing on November 3; Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s Waitress: The Musical, which is set for a December 7 release with Fathom Events; The Origin, a Stone Age-set thriller making its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest; and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s space station-set thriller I.S.S., which recently debuted at the 2023 Tribeca Festival to acclaim. Recent titles include: Guy Nattiv’s Golda starring Helen Mirren which is currently in theaters; Marc Turtletaub’s sci-fi comedy, Jules starring Sir Ben Kingsley; the Catherine Hardwicke-directed Mafia Mamma starring Toni Collette and Monica Bellucci; Laurel Parmet’s feature directorial debut and Sundance Film Festival breakout The Starling Girl; and Alice Troughton’s The Lesson with Daryl McCormack, Richard E. Grant, and Julie Delpy.

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