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AwardsFeature Film

‘Long Way North’ Wins Feature Film Prize in Japan

The crew of the Flash-animated feature Long Way North traveled to Japan last month to accept the Tokyo Anime Award Festival grand prize for animated feature. The French-Danish co-production won this recognition from among 24 animated feature submissions, a significantly more competitive field than the Academy Awards, which had only 16 submissions in its feature category last year.

Below is a video of jury member Ryuichi Yagi, director of the Japanese hit Stand by Me Doraemon, presenting the award to the Long Way North team.

Liane-Cho Han, the animation supervisor of Long Way North, shared a few photos from the crew’s trip to Japan. He was especially delighted to meet Japanese animation luminary Toshiyuki Inoue (pictured below), who reportedly loved Long Way North and watched the film three times.

Left to right: Alexander Petreski (layout posing artist), Toshiyuki Inoue (festival jury member), Liane-Cho Han, Ron Dyens (co-producer, Sacrebleu Productions), Marick Queven (assistant" animator).
Left to right: Alexander Petreski (“Long Way North” layout posing artist), Toshiyuki Inoue (festival jury member), Liane-Cho Han, Ron Dyens (co-producer, Sacrebleu Productions), Marick Queven (assistant” animator).

A private screening of Long Way North was also arranged for the Tokyo animation community at Cinema Laputa. Among the artists who attended were Toshiyuki Inoue, Iso Mitsuo, Christophe Ferreira, Thomas Romain, Yasuhiro Irie, Yoshiharu Ashino, and Abel Gongora. A presentation about the film’s making followed the screening, as well as a Q&A session.

Screening of Long Way North at Cinema Laputa in Tokyo.
Screening of Long Way North at Cinema Laputa in Tokyo.

An additional private screening of the film was also arranged at Studio Ghibli, with the presence of Isao Takahata, Studio Chizu co-founder Yuchiro Saito, and Sunao Katabuchi (Mai Mai Miracle, Princess Arete), among other industry figures.

Long Way North has won numerous awards on the festival circuit and has attracted the attention of industry artists, yet struggled to find a theatrical audience in its native France when it launched last January, a similar fate shared by the unconventional French feature, April and the Extraordinary World. The good news for Americans is that Long Way North will be distributed in the United States in fall 2016 through Shout Factory. Read our conversation with the film’s director Rémi Chayé:

  • Netko

    Dammit I really want to watch this. I’m glad to hear it’s been received well.

  • Luis Cavaco

    Saw this at Monstra 2016, Lisbon Animation festival, and it was one of the best animated films from this year.
    April and the Extraordinary World was also excellent.
    It’s a pity the two don´t have a Worldwide release and the marketing campaign to go with it.
    They are, in my opinion, made to reach a big audience and are commercial in a good way. Interesting, engaging stories and beautiful visuals.