Magazine article Screen International

Michael Dudok De Wit on Collaborating with Studio Ghibli

Magazine article Screen International

Michael Dudok De Wit on Collaborating with Studio Ghibli

Article excerpt

Following a long, successful career in short films, Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit, an Oscar-winner in 2000 for Father And Daughter, believed he had minimal ambition to move into directing features.

That was until an email popped into his inbox in 2007 out of the blue with an attached letter from Studio Ghibli asking if he would be interested in co-producing a feature with the Japanese animation giants.

The letter said that the company's top personnel, including legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, admired his short, referring to it as "very Japanese".

The request was even more surprising because Ghibli had never embarked on an international co-production before. But, with directors including Miyazaki virtually retired from features, Ghibli had begun to look further afield, and had tasked Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval (whose company have traditionally acted as the sales agent on Ghibli's films) with getting word to de Wit. …

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