Belle, the new anime movie from acclaimed Mirai director Mamoru Hosoda, will premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2021.
According to Deadline, Belle will be the third animated film presented at this year's film festival, joining Ari Folman’s Where is Anne Frank and Patrick Imbert's The Summit of the Gods. Hosoda's previous film, the award-winning Mirai, was previously screened at a sidebar event at Cannes, but Belle will be the first of the director's movies to be screened at the festival as an official selection.
Belle tells the story of Suzu Naito, a shy high school student who is still recovering from the death of her mother. Suzu dreams of becoming a singer, but her shyness and her stage fright keep her from performing in person; however, in the virtual social network known as "U," Suzu adopts the alternate persona of "Belle," a confident and commanding diva who has over 5 billion followers worldwide.
Mamoru Hosoda, who worked on the Digimon franchise and had a brief stint at Studio Ghibli earlier in his career, is one of the most celebrated directors currently working in the anime industry. Hosoda's previous movie, Mirai, was the first non-Studio Ghibli anime to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. The movie was also nominated in the same category at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards. Mirai is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
Belle will premiere at Cannes on July 15, will debut in Japanese theaters on July 16 under the title Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (literally translated "The Dragon and the Princess of Freckles,") and will be released in North America by distributor GKIDS sometime after that.