Brave Story, an animated feature produced by GONZO, the main production subsidiary of Tokyo-based GDH K.K., has been selected to compete in the children’s films category at the first edition of the RomeFilmFest. Kicking off today, Oct. 13, at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, the international film festival will screen around 100 projects from around the world through Oct. 21.
Brave Story is based on a fantasy novel by popular Japanese writer Miyuki Miyabe. The story revolves around an 11-year-old boy who enters a magical world to find a cure for his mother’s illness. In this enchanted realm, Wataru is befriended by a talking lizard and a baby fire-breathing dragon as he learns the art of magic, collects hidden treasures, encounters monsters and journeys to meet Goddess of the Realm, who can grant a single wish to those who are worthy. Koichi Chigira (Last Exile, Full Metal Panic!) directed the CG-animated adaptation, which was reportedly budgeted at around $10 million. The film is produced by Chihiro Kameyama, a driving force behind Fuji TV’s popular Bayside Shakedown action flick franchise.
Selected to compete in the category for children 8-13, Brave Story will screen daily from Sunday, Oct. 15, through Thursday, Oct. 19. The film is up against French filmmaker Michel Ocelot’s animated feature Azur et Asmar, as well as live-action productions including the critically acclaimed American pic Akeelah and the Bee. A jury made up of children in the target age group will announce the winner of the Best Film in the category on Friday, Oct. 20.
The RomeFilmFest is the third international film festival in Italy after the Venice Film Festival and the Torino Film Festival. Other animated features screening at the fest include Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly, Christian Volckman’s Renaissance and DreamWorks Animation’s Over the Hedge (out of competition). For more information, go to www.romacinemafest.org.