The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film is taking flight at TIFF to open the 48th edition of the festival

Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron is opening the 48th annual TIFF celebration later this year!

Opening Night at the Toronto International Film Festival is cause for celebration because Hayao Miyazaki, the Academy Award-winning director of such films as Spirited AwayPrincess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle, is bringing his latest film, The Boy and the Heron, to the 48th edition of the annual event! The Opening Night Gala starts on Thursday, September 7, at Roy Thomas Hall.

As today’s official press release mentions, several Studio Ghibli 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). Still, this is the first time a Japanese or animated film is opening the Festival. The honor marks another milestone in Miyazaki’s storied career as one of his generation’s most sought-after Japanese filmmakers.

“We are honoured to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival with the work of one of cinema’s greatest artists,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “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.”

Per today’s TIFF press release:

The Boy and the Heron opened to record-breaking success in Japan. The hand-drawn, animated feature — director Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years — features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi. In an extraordinary break with tradition, Studio Ghibli released the film in Japan without any promotion, marketing materials, or film description, allowing audiences to discover the film for themselves.

If mystery isn’t your jam, and you want to know what The Boy and the Heron is about, please read the following description:

Hayao Miyazak’s The Boy and the Heron revolves around a teenage boy’s psychological development through encounters with his friends and uncle. After finding an abandoned tower in his new town, the boy enters a magical world with a talking grey heron.

For those now suffering from TIFF-related FOMO, The Boy and the Heron, GKIDS will distribute the film in North American theaters later this year.

Oh, man. Toronto is about two hours from my house. I wonder if I could sneak my way into the premiere. I’ll need to make some phone calls. In the comments section below, let us know if you’re excited about Miyazaki’s next epic.

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