The Big Picture
- Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Boy and the Heron, will be premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 7, making it the first Japanese film or animated title to kick off the festival.
- The film, highly anticipated and shrouded in mystery, features hand-drawn animation by Miyazaki himself and has already been acclaimed as a masterpiece in Japan.
- The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike will likely result in a more subdued celebrity presence at the festival’s opening, setting a somber tone for Miyazaki’s last chapter in his iconic career.
Hayao Miyazaki’s highly anticipated final film, The Boy and the Heron, which is the last chapter in his long and iconic career, is set to open at this year’s Toronto Film Festival on September 7. The film’s premiere during the usually bustling festival will be met with a toned-down celebrity presence owing to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
The mysterious new Studio Ghibli film is highly anticipated, featuring hand-drawn animation from Miyazaki himself. The film was released in Japan on July 14, and the film is set to release in North America later this year under the title The Boy and the Heron. There has been very little revealed about the film, with the hopes that audiences go in with few preconceived notions regarding the movie.
A Mysterious Final Film from Hayao Miyazaki
The new film comes from the legendary animation studio, Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki is a co-founder of the studio, with has released such classic films as the film My Neighbor Totoro and the 2002 film Spirited Away. Previous Ghibli to be released at TIFF include Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Because the film is set to premiere on September 7, the opening night of the festival, The Boy and the Heron will be the first Japanese film or animated title to launch the festival. However, the ongoing double strike of SAG-AFTRA and WGA will most likely mean a more somber opening than usual.
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Of the decision to open the festival with The Boy and the Heron, Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF, said “(w)e are honored to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival with the work of one of cinema’s greatest artists. 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.”
The film was released in Japan as Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka, which translates to How Do You Live? The film is an original story written and directed by Miyazaki. The film is produced by the Oscar-winning Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki. The film also features a musical score from Joe Hisaishi, who has been a long-time collaborator of Miyazaki. The Boy and the Heron will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2023.