The 18th annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will kick off on February 27 with an exciting lineup featuring animated and live action features, as well as shorts from across the globe. The festival will open with the North American premiere of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie Was There, the newest feature from the renowned Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli. The story of a friendship between two girls that straddles the line between fantasy and reality, the film was the last to be released in Japan before the studio announced its film division would be taking a hiatus. Another Ghibli film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which premiered in the U.S. last year, is currently a contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
The festival will include two interesting retrospectives of British animated shorts. The “Best of Aardman Shorts” program will pay tribute to the stop-motion films of Aardman Animations (including the Oscar winner Creature Comforts), and the “Wallace & Gromit Shorts” program will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nick Park’s famous animated duo. Another highlight is Jellyfish Eyes, the feature film debut of the acclaimed Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, a combination disaster film/coming-of-age story that blends live-action with the artist’s whimsical animations. The festival will close with The Prophet, an animated adaption of Kahlil Gibran’s classic book written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), featuring the voices of Salma Hayek (Frida), Liam Neeson (Taken 3), and Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie).
You can check out the full lineup and purchase tickets here. The festival will run from February 27 through March 22, 2015 at various theaters across New York City.