The staff of the Locarno Film Festival has announced that Mamoru Hosoda has won the first-ever Locarno Kids Award. The festival, taking place August 4–14, 2021, will host the Swiss premiere of his latest anime film Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, literally “The Dragon and the Freckled Princess”) at the Piazza Grande. BELLE opened in Japanese theaters on July 16, 2021.
The story of Belle 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.
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…