16:56 - 26th March 2012, by David West

A Letter To Momo Wins Grand Prize At NYICFF 2012

A Letter To Momo, the second feature from Hiroyuki Okiura, has snagged the Grand Prize at the New York International Children's Film Festival, which wrapped up this past Sunday, 25 March.

The festival is the largest of its kind devoted to films aimed at children and teenagers in the United States.

A Letter To Momo took seven years to make and features beautiful hand-crafted animation from Production IG, the renowned Japanese studio behind Mamoru Oshii's Ghost In The Shell. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and is winning glowing reviews in addition to winning the prestigious Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Awards 2011.

Hiroyuki Okiura's last film as director was the powerful Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade which was released in Japan in 2000. Okiura has worked on some of the most influential and critically acclaimed titles in anime history, including Akira (1988, key animator), Ghost in the Shell (1995, character design, animation supervisor, layout artist), and GITS: Innocence (2004, character designer, animation supervisor).

His new film follows eleven-year-old Momo who has to move to a remote town on a small island after her father dies. Having grown up in the city, she misses shopping malls and all her friends but Momo is distracted from her boredom by a letter that her father started writing to her before he died, but he never had the chance to finish. All it says is 'Dear Momo...' What did her father want to tell her?

The movie opens in Japan on 21 April.

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