Studio Ghibli Inc.'s "From Up On Poppy Hill" may be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 85th Academy Awards, according to U.S. independent news site Indiewire.
The website's "Thompson on Hollywood" blog mentions the possibility in an entry made on Aug. 28 titled "Hopes High for Five Animated Feature Nominations; GKIDS to Qualify Four Films."
It was previously reported that GKIDS, a U.S. independent distributor for animation and family-oriented entertainment, had acquired the North American rights to "From Up On Poppy Hill." It will likely be theatrically released in the United States in 2012, according to the news site.
According to the article, 21 films have qualified for consideration for an Oscar nomination in the best animated feature category this year. Under the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "In any year in which 16 or more animated features are released, a maximum of five motion pictures may be nominated."
The blog also reports that "A Letter to Momo" will wait to qualify in 2013. GKIDS also has distribution rights to the animated feature, which is directed by Hiroyuki Okiura.
But the blog failed to mention another Ghibli film, "The Secret World of Arrietty," in its list of qualifying films.
The anime, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, was released on more than 1,200 screens across the United States on Feb. 17, 2012, through Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista distribution brand.
It is highly unlikely that Disney will not aim for an Oscar nomination for "Arrietty," even though the entertainment giant already has five films qualified in 2012, including one jointly produced with Pixar.
Meanwhile, it was previously reported that Japanese full-CG anime feature "After School Midnighters" was submitted for consideration in the best animated feature category. It must be theatrically released in Los Angeles County for at least a week to secure an Oscar nod.
The Japanese films, however, face tough competition in nabbing one of the five nominations. Usually, 10 to 19 animated films qualify for consideration, but this year, Thompson on Hollywood alone cites 21 films, excluding "Arrietty" and "After School Midnighters."
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