Indie animation distributor GKids has picked up the North American distribution rights to Studio Ghibli’s latest effort “From Up On Poppy Hill” reports Variety.
Filmmaking legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Castle in the Sky,” “Spirited Away”) wrote the screenplay, though his son Goro Miyazaki helmed the project which is set in Yokohama in 1963.
The story follows two high school students who are battling the demolition of a historic building as they deal with their own family secrets. The film was the highest-grossing Japanese movie of 2011 with a gross of $56 million.
Last year GKids scored the North American rights to thirteen of Studio Ghibli’s library titles and has been touring major North American markets with them this year.
GKids aims to qualify “Poppy Hill” for next February’s Oscars with a theatrical release to immediately follow in March. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are executive producing the English-language version of the feature.
This marks GKids’ first release of a first-run Studio Ghibli film, replacing Disney who has handled distribution of Ghibli’s previous releases capping off with “The Secret World of Arrietty” back in February this year.