UK Firm Elysian Film Group Makes Studio Ghibli Pic ‘Earwig And The Witch’ Its First Acquisition; Nick McKay Appointed Head Of Distribution

UK Firm Elysian Film Group Makes Studio Ghibli Pic ‘Earwig And The Witch’ Its First Acquisition; Nick McKay Appointed Head Of Distribution

UK distributor-producer Elysian Film Group has appointed Picturehouse Entertainment exec Nick McKay as Head of Distribution.


The company has also announced today its first acquisition for theatrical release: Studio Ghibli pic Earwig And The WitchBased on the children’s novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, the film is the Japanese studio’s first entirely 3DCG animated film.


The Cannes 2020 film is directed by Goro Miyazaki and produced by studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki with planning from his father, Hayao Miyazaki


The film charts the story of orphan Earwig who has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life will take a new turn when a strange family takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch.

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Elysian acquired rights from Wild Bunch International and plans a theatrical run in early 2021.


Meanwhile, McKay joins the recently established UK distribution company, which launched at EFM 2020 as part of Elysian Film Group, Perkins and Kate Solomon’s film and television production company. The company is backed by a minority investment from CAA, marking the first time the agency has worked with a UK partner to launch a distribution label.


McKay was most recently Head of Distribution at Picturehouse, where he worked on a theatrical and home entertainment slate which included The Wife, The Party , Woman At War and God’s Own Country. He joined Picturehouse Entertainment in 2017 following his arrival from Soda Pictures where he was Head Of Distribution. McKay was previously Head of Theatrical Sales for Studiocanal for 12 years, where he worked with Perkins on movies including Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.


Earlier this year we revealed the cast on Elysian’s first UK production, Greatest Days, which features 16 songs from UK boy-band Take That. The film is currently in development. As we first revealed, the company also hired former Studiocanal exec Jed Benedict.


“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Danny Perkins’ Elysian Film Group and to have the opportunity to contribute to his exciting vision for the company, along with the immensely talented people he has already put in place. Danny’s commercial acumen, inspiring leadership as well as taste and belief in filmmakers and artists makes me very excited about what is to follow,” said Nick McKay.