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Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most revered animators in the world, is reportedly retiring. His new film, which was screened at the Venice film Festival this weekend, will be his last.
Koji Hoshino, who leads animation house Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, made the announcement at the festival, notes Variety.
“Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) will be his last film, and he will now retire,” Hoshino said. Miyazaki, 72, was not at the festival.
While the news has disappointed many in the animation community, Hoshino did not go into further details at the news conference. According to The LA Times, the studio will give a more detailed press conference in Tokyo next week.
Miyazaki began his career in the 1960s and began gaining attention for his television work in the 1970s. His best known films include My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo and Howl’s Moving Castle. In 2003, he won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away in just the second ceremony that the award was presented.
According to The Guardian, Miyazaki’s films have all been box office hits in Japan and he earned Venice’s lifetime achievement award in 2005, showing how beloved he is beyond the world of animation.
The Wind Rises is his 11th feature and is set between the World Wars. It looks at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japan’s fighter planes. Disney’s Touchstone Pictures will distribute it in North America.
image: Wikimedia Commons