Acclaimed animation producer and distributor GKIDS has acquired the North American distribution rights to Mary And The Witch’s Flower. The film is the first feature from the Japan-based Studio Ponoc.

Academy Award-nominated director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty, When Marnie Was There) helms the film based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s book The Little Broomstick. It was adapted for the big screen by Yonebayashi and Riko Sakaguchi.  The story centers on an ordinary young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night. As she is whisked into an exciting new world beyond belief, she must learn to stay true to herself. Studio Ponoc founder and two-time Academy Award-nominated Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There) produces the film.

GKIDS also distributed The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There, and both received Oscar nods for Best Animated Feature.  Yonebayashi’s The Secret World of Arrietty remains the highest-grossing Studio Ghibli title in the United States to date.

Mary And The Witch’s Flower is slated to open in theaters this winter. The deal was negotiated by Mike Runagall for Altitude Film Sales, and Eric Beckman for GKIDS.