TIFF 2023 to open with Japanese author, Hayao Miyazaki’s film ‘The Boy and the Heron’

TIFF. Image credit Wikipedia Commons

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Toronto/CMEDIA: TIFF announced last week that  Studio Ghibli’s long-awaited fantastical epic feature film, The Boy and the Heron, from Academy Award-winning visionary director Hayao Miyazaki, will be the Opening Night Gala Presentation for the 48th Toronto International Film Festival® on Thursday, September 7, at Roy Thomson Hall.

Written and directed by the Japanese filmmaker, the original story was and produced by Oscar®-winning Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki co-founded

Although several of Studio Ghibli’s films have screened at TIFF, including The Red Turtle (2016), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2014), The Wind Rises (2013), From Up on Poppy Hill (2011), Spirited Away (2002), and Princess Mononoke (1999), this is the first time a Japanese film or an animated film has opened the Festival.

“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,  Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF has said.

This announcement was made at a recent showcase and audience favourite, POP Japan, celebrating the convergence of the cult, pulp, and popular in Japanese film and art, in which Miyazaki’s seminal films and most lauded classics, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, were also featured.

The hand-drawn, animated feature The Boy and the Heron opened in Japan to record-breaking success.

The animated feature ‘The Boy and the Heron’ featuring a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi, is the director Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years.

Breaking with tradition in an extraordinary way. Studio Ghibli released the film in Japan without any promotion, marketing materials, or film description, allowing audiences to discover the film for themselves.

This screening outside of Japan will be the International Premiere and the first opportunity for audiences to experience the film for themselves.

The Boy and the Heron is being distributed by GKIDS in North America where it will be released in theatres later in the year.