Hayao Miyazaki's <em>The Boy and the Heron</em> soars into Toronto to open the 48th edition of the Festival

media release

July 27, 2023

Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron soars into Toronto to open the 48th edition of the Festival

Japanese auteur’s latest film makes its International Premiere at TIFF

The poster for The Boy and the Heron

Photo credit: © 2023 Studio Ghibli

TORONTO — TIFF is thrilled to announce 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. 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.

“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, 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.”

This announcement comes on the heels of TIFF’s 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 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.

Press Contact

Alejandra Sosa

Director, Communications

masosa@tiff.net


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The Toronto International Film Festival takes place September 7–17, 2023.

TIFF will respect SAG-AFTRA protocols regarding the participation of its members at the Festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place September 7–17, 2023. Tickets are on sale now at tiff.net.

About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $200 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, Visa, and BVLGARI®, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of Toronto.

Artscape Sandbox is the Official home of the 2023 Press Office & The Media Inclusion Initiative.

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