The Berlin International Film Festival (“Berlinale”) has announced that Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, Suzume, will have its international premiere as part of the festival’s Competition section. Shinkai is scheduled to be in attendance at the festival along with actor Nanoka Hara and producer Genki Kawamura. Berlinale runs from February 16-26, 2023.

Suzume hits theaters in April 2023 on big screens globally and will be distributed by Crunchyroll, in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wild Bunch International and Eurozoom (excluding Asia). In May 2022 during the Cannes Film Festival, Crunchyroll acquired the international distribution and marketing rights (excluding Asia) from TOHO for the film produced by CoMix Wave Films and Story Inc.

“At its core, Suzume is based on the massive disaster that occurred in Japan 12 years ago,” said Shinkai. “I’m eager to see how this film translates to international audiences: what makes sense, what doesn’t, and what common ground we have across cultures. The film’s imminent international release will hopefully give me the answer to those questions. And, I cannot thank our team members enough for their unprecedented talent and perseverance throughout the film’s production. On behalf of the entire team, I would also like to give thanks to all the fans who have cheered us on, making Suzume possible.”

“As someone who has never been outside my home country, it’s a dream-come-true to attend the Berlin International Film Festival with the Suzume team,” said Hara. “Time and time again, I’ve been so happy to be a part of this film. I’m looking forward to seeing the international audiences’ reactions at the festival and hope the entire world falls in love with the movie!”

Suzume debuted in Japan on November 11, 2022 and has now surpassed 9.63 million admissions. Suzume has also eared 12.8 billion yen (approx. 99 million USD) in 10 weeks.

Suzume will be distributed in all major territories:

  • In North America, Crunchyroll is the sole distributor.
  • In Latin America, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East and portions of Europe, the film will be distributed by Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
  • In French- and German-speaking Europe, the film will be co-distributed by Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wild Bunch International and Eurozoom.

Award-winning creator, writer and director Makoto Shinkai has been a visionary in the animation space for decades, with the most recent films being your name. (2016) and Weathering With You (2019), both of which have catapulted him as leading animation auteur with international viewers. Weathering With You was selected as Japan’s entry for the best international feature film category of the 2020 Academy Awards and nominated in four categories in the 47th annual Annie Awards including best animated independent feature.

Suzume is the story about a young girl traveling through various ruins across Japan while closing doors causing disaster.

Film Synopsis
On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—

Suzume is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.

Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob. Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.

—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.

Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky.

Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells. A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.

Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.

Makoto Shinkai Profile

Born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 1973, Makoto Shinkai made his commercial debut with the short film he produced on his own, Voices of a Distant Star.

Since then, every project he directed has been very well-received, including the 2004 The Place Promised in Our Early Days which won the Animated Feature awards at the 59th Mainichi Film Concours; the 2007 5 Centimeters per Second which won the Best Animated Feature Film awards at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards; the 2011 Children Who Chase Lost Voices, which won the 8th Annual CICAF “Golden Monkey King” award; and the 2013 The Garden of Words, which won the Best Feature Animation award at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film.

More recently, his 2016 film your name. became an international sensation and social phenomenon, smashing Japanese box office records, winning several awards at the 40th Japan Academy Film Prize, including Excellent Prize for Animation Film (your name.), Excellent Prize for Director (Makoto Shinkai), Excellent Prize for Screenplay (Makoto Shinkai) and Excellent Prize for Music (RADWIMPS), as well as the 42nd Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Feature.

Makoto was quick to follow up that success with his 2019 picture, Weathering With You, which represented Japan for the Best International Feature Film in the 92nd Academy Awards. Furthermore, in India, it garnered more than 50,000 signatures petitioning its theatrical release, which made it the first Japanese original animation to achieve a commercial theatrical release in India.

SUZUME: AT A GLANCE

Theatrical Release (Japan): 11/11/2022 (Friday)

Theatrical Release (by territory)

  • Austria: 4/14/2023 (Friday)
  • Australia: 4/13/2023 (Thursday)
  • Belgium: 4/14/2023 (Friday)
  • Brazil: 4/13/2023 (Thursday)
  • Canada: 4/14/2023 (Friday)
  • France: 4/12/2023 (Wednesday)

  • Germany: 4/13/2023 (Thursday)
  • Luxembourg: 4/14/2023 (Friday)
  • Mexico: 4/13/2023 (Thursday)
  • New Zealand: 4/13/2023 (Thursday)
  • United Kingdom / Ireland: 4/14/2023 (Friday)
  • United States: 4/14/2023 (Friday)

Additional 2023 dates to be announced for additional Latin American and EMEA territories.

English Title: Suzume