Oscar-Contending Japanese Animation Film Coming To North America

A Japanese animated film gathering buzz as an Oscar contender is receiving a limited North American release on April 7.

Critically acclaimed upon its Japan debut last year, Makoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” holds the distinction as Japan’s fourth highest-grossing box office hit ever, and highest-grossing anime film of all time worldwide.

“Your Name” performed well in the rest of Asia, particularly in China — where it became the best-performing Japanese film to date — and in South Korea, where it reached No. 1 at the box office.

“It’s truly a joy to be part of a film like ‘Your Name’ that has surprised everyone’s expectations and quickly captivated the hearts and attention of audiences and film critics alike,” Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of distributor Funimation Films, said in a statement. “I have always believed that a touching and beautifully told story can mesmerize mainstream audiences regardless of a film’s genre.”

The hand-drawn film follows Mitsuha and Taki, two young strangers living completely different lives who swap bodies in bizarre and mysterious occurrences.

It received the Best Animated Film prize at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards last month, and has been nominated for two Annie Awards, in the best independent animated feature and best direction categories.

The film will come to theaters in both English-language dub and in Japanese with English subtitles.