Makoto Shinkai’s feature Weathering with You has been selected as the official Japanese entry for the International Feature Film Award (previously Foreign Language Film) at the Oscars. The announcement was made today by the Japan Motion Picture Producers Association, which selected Shinkai’s film from a shortlist of 13 films.
Shinkai’s 2016 film, the critically-acclaimed Your Name, broke global box office records for a Japanese film ($360 million worldwide), but the film’s U.S. distributor didn’t have any experience with awards season politics and couldn’t get Academy voters excited about the project, resulting in no nomination for a film that many believed was a shoo-in in the feature animation category. A similar situation is unlikely to happen with Weathering with You, which is being distributed in the U.S. by GKIDS, which has scored 11 nominations in the animated feature category, including an Oscar nomination earlier this year for Mirai, the first non-Ghibli film to be nominated in the category.
With Japan now pushing the film in the International category, the film’s visibility will continue to increase in the lead-up to Oscar voting. It doesn’t hurt that Weathering with You is currently the highest-grossing film, animated or live action, at the Japanese box office this year.