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16th edition
October 8-17, 2021
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Belle – Oscar nominee Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film opens Animest 2021

Beauty and the Beast meets futuristic tech in Belle, Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda’s new standout film, which will open the 16th edition of Animest. First shown internationally at Cannes, this Sci-Fi anime following a teenager on her way to becoming her best self in a virtual, parallel universe, will be screened for the first time in Romania on October 8, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. respectively, at Cinema Elvire Popesco. The film, distributed in Romania by Bad Unicorn, will soon be available in cinemas nation-wide.

Tickets to the Animest.16 Opening Night special screening are available online, at:

Suzu’s having a hard time being a teenager. A shy 17-year-old high schooler living in rural Japan with her father, she one day enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the internet. There, you can become anyone you like and explore a new version of reality. Thus, Suzu becomes Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets a mysterious, frightening creature, living alone in a floating castle, never letting anyone near. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.

“Belle is the film I’ve always dreamed of making and which now I’ve finally been able to make thanks to the success of my previous films,” shared Mamoru Hosoda at Cannes, where the movie’s international premiere was regaled with a 14-minute standing ovation. This Studio Chizu production marks the Japanese filmmaker’s return to the silver screen, following the resounding success of Mirai, which received a plethora of awards, was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2018 Oscars and presented in 2019 at Animest.

“I want to encourage the children of the world, to celebrate their future, for they will carry the future on their shoulders in an ever-changing society,” said Hosoda, who is considered the only Japanese filmmaker whose works bring audiences of all ages to the cinema. In fact, his family inspired his characters, which have gone on to capture the imagination of moviegoers worldwide. Belle itself was inspired by the director’s fears about what adolescence might be like for his daughter.


The 16th edition of Animest is a project co-funded by the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB, as part of the Bucharest – Open City 2021 Program. For detailed information on the Municipality funding program through ARCUB, please access The above material does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bucharest Municipality or of ARCUB.

The event is co-funded by the Romanian Film Centre, with support from the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Bucharest and the Goethe Institute.

Institutional partners: The Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation to the European Union, The Cervantes Institute in Bucharest, The Austrian Cultural Forum.

Media partners: Radio Guerrilla, Agerpres, IQads, SMARK, Film Menu,,, Munteanu.

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