The official website for the Cannes Film Festival has announced that Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu’s new Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, literally “The Dragon and the Freckled Princess”) anime film will screen in the festival’s Cannes Premiere section on July 15, 2021. This marks the first Official Selection at the festival for Hosoda. The director’s previous Mirai film screened at the Directors’ Fortnight, an independent section held in parallel to the festival, in 2018.
The story of the film is described as:
Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age. She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother’s death was no longer able to sing.
It wasn’t long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world.
When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as “U,” where she takes on her persona, Belle.
Another me. Another reality. We are no longer limited to a single world.
Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside “U” as her avatar, Belle, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of “U.”
Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her…
Belle will open in Japan on July 16, 2021. GKIDS licensed the film for North America, and will release the film in English and in Japanese with English subtitles this winter.