The Red Turtle - Canadian Theatrical Premiere January 27

Starting in theatres - January 27, 2017
In Toronto – tiff Bell Lightbox – 350 King St., W.
Also opens in Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Ste-Adele, Laval, Boucherville

February 3, 2017
In Ottawa - ByTowne Cinema - 325 Rideau St. Ottawa K1N 5Y4

(Toronto/Montreal - December 14, 2016)  Awash in accolades after a year-long festival run with a world premiere at Cannes, and a North American premiere at TIFF, The Red Turtle starts its Canadian theatrical run in Toronto (tiff Bell Lightobx), Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Ste-Adele, Laval, Boucherville on Friday, January 27.

A nameless man finds himself washed ashore on a deserted island with only the animal inhabitants to keep him company. The man attempts to escape the island by constructing a bamboo raft, with some assistance from the comically ever-present island crabs. His efforts are thwarted, however, by the appearance of a mysterious giant red turtle.

The man’s plans to leave the island change, when he discovers the giant turtle is not exactly what it first appears to be. 

Maintaining a distance from the man, and by avoiding the use of dialogue, the man is a blank slate that is both mysterious and universally identifiable.  His hyper-simplistic character design fits within the texture-rich environment and fluid score to create a surreal tale the Telegraph called a “wordless wonder.”

“I’ve just got this deep love for beauty of nature and for deep underlying goodness of the human race, which is part of nature,” says director Michael Dudok de Wit. “It’s the same thing, in a way. It’s not a film about survival, like Robinson Crusoe—the story describes very quickly how he finds food and water, and he’s fine in a warm climate. What interests me much more was his relationship with nature, and our personalities are so much influenced by the people around us, whether we like it or not.”

The Red Turtle premiered at Cannes, where it was nominated for the “Camera d’Or”, and won the “Un Certain Regard” Special Prize. It has been nominated for Best Animated Feature by the Critics’ Choice Awards, received runner up for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Animated Film, and has been nominated for several awards by the International Animated Film Association Annie Awards including Best Animated Feature – Independent. It recently was named runner up for Best Animated Film by the Toronto Film Critics Association as well as the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle. In February the film is up for five Annie Awards.

The Red Turtle is the first international co-production from legendary Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli.


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