Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate (GKIDS) acquired the North American rights for “When Marnie Was There,” a Japanese anime film written and directed by “The Secret World of Arrietty’s” Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The film, adapted from a British children’s novel, will receive a Spring 2015 release in U.S. theaters.
The youth-cinema distributors obtained the rights from Studio Ghibli in a distribution agreement announced on Wednesday and orchestrated by Eric Beckman from GKIDS and Geoffrey Wexler from Studio Ghibli.
GKIDS has acquired all theatrical, non-theatrical, home video and television rights in North America. An English-language version is being produced by Studio Ghibli and Geoffrey Wexler.
Based on Joan G. Robinson’s novel of the same name, “When Marnie Was There” follows a troubled 12-year-old named Anna who finds herself drawn to an abandoned house. It’s there where she encounters a mysterious young woman named Marnie.
Before directing his own features, Yonebayashi worked as an animator and key animator on several beloved Japanese films, including “Ponyo,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away.” He made his directorial debut in 2010 with “The Secret World of Arrietty” before going on to direct “Marnie” in 2014.
GKIDS previously partnered with Studio Ghibli on “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya,” the 2014 documentary “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” and the 2013 animated “From Up on Poppy Hill.”
GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for the Studio Ghibli library of films, which includes “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke.”