The Boy and the Heron opens Toronto Film Festival
The Boy and the Heron by Hayao Miyazaki

The fantastical epic animated 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. The original story was written and directed by the Japanese filmmaker and produced by Oscar®-winning Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki co-founded.

While 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.

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. This screening will be the International Premiere and the first opportunity for audiences outside of Japan to experience the film for themselves. GKIDS is distributing The Boy and the Heron in North America, where it will be released in theatres later in the year.

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

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