Hayao Miyazaki’s reported ‘last’ Studio Ghibli film will open Toronto Int’l Film Festival
Studio Ghibli has impacted many moviegoers’ idea of animated cinema and continues to boast a portfolio of impactful works, and if anyone would doubt it, you can just revisit the icon status of its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Better yet, here’s a fun fact: Miyazaki’s “final” Studio Ghibli film shattered box office records without deliberate marketing efforts.
Though a mysterious air has wrapped the film—with people going into it blindly, not knowing the plot—“The Boy and the Heron” (originally titled “How Do You Live?”) has mostly received positive feedback since its Japan premiere on July 14. The next day, it was announced that the 82-year-old auteur’s fantasy film will have screenings in North America—with this, it’s also set to grace the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
In a July 27 tweet, TIFF revealed that “The Boy and the Heron” is having its international premiere on Sept. 7 at the Roy Thomson Hall. They also highlighted that it’s the first Japanese or animated film to open the festival, which will run from Sept. 7 to 17 this year.
While several of Studio Ghibli’s films have screened at TIFF — including THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, THE WIND RISES, SPIRITED AWAY, and PRINCESS MONONOKE — this is the first time a Japanese film or an animated film has opened the Festival. #TIFF23 pic.twitter.com/YBQ9uaIwla
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) July 27, 2023
In a statement, as reported by Associated Press, TIFF chief executive CEO and film critic Cameron Bailey expressed that they feel “honored” to have an opening film made by “one of cinema’s greatest artists.”
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“Already acclaimed as a masterpiece in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki’s new film begins as a simple story of loss and love and rises to a staggering work of imagination. I look forward to our audience discovering its mysteries for themselves, but I can promise a singular, transformative experience,” he said.
“The Boy and the Heron” is Miyazaki’s first film in a decade.