Shout Factory Films has announced that it will release Rémi Chayé’s hand-drawn feature Long Way North (Tout en haut du monde) on September 30 in Los Angeles, New York City, and select major markets. Openings in additional cities will follow.

Here’s the newly released English trailer for the film:

The release should qualify the French film for Oscar consideration this year. Despite struggling earlier this year at the box office in its native France, Long Way North has been celebrated at festivals, winning the feature film audience award at Annecy in 2015 and the grand prize at the Tokyo Animation Festival.

The film has especially gained an appreciation in Japan, especially among the professional animation community. Legendary Ghibli director Isao Takahata has emerged as one of the key champions of the film. Following a screening in Tokyo last month, Takahata spoke to the audience about the film, praising its “natural, smooth” approach to filmmaking that resists “superficial complicatedness.”

Isao Takahata speaking about "Long Way North" at the French Institute of Tokyo on July 28, 2016.
Isao Takahata speaking about “Long Way North” at the French Institute of Tokyo on July 28, 2016.

Written by Claire Paoletti and Patricia Valeix, Long Way North tells the story of an aristocratic Russian girl Sacha, who perseveres through a physical and emotional journey to the North Pole to find her explorer grandfather and his lost ship, the Davai. The film was produced by Sacrebleu Productions and Maybe Movies, with the participation of Norlum Studios, France 3 Cinéma, and 2 Minutes.

The English voice cast includes Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson, Antony Hickling, Tom Perkins, Geoffrey Greenhill, Claire Harrison-Bullett, Bibi Jacob, Martin Lewis, Tom Morton, Leslie Clack, Kester Lovelace, and Damian Corcoran.

Shout Fatory is no stranger to international animation, having released numerous family-friendly CG features in the States including Snowtime!, Thunder and The House of Magic, Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, and The Seventh Dwarf. Chayé’s feature is arguably their most artistically meritorious pickup to date, and deserves to find a wider audience here in the United States.

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