Hayao Miyazaki’s final film to open San Sebastian festival

Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “The Boy and the Heron,” will open Spain’s San Sebastian film festival next month, organizers said Thursday.

The animated fantasy epic, which Miyazaki has said will be his last, will screen on Sept. 22 in what will be the film’s European premiere.

The screening will come just two weeks after the film opens the Toronto film festival on Sept. 7, a rare double opening for two film festivals.

The film tells the story of a grieving boy who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town and enters a fantastical world with a talking grey heron.

Known for vivid colors and loving depictions of landscapes, the 82-year-old’s films still rely primarily on hand-drawing each frame.

His “Spirited Away” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature of 2002 and was a huge hit internationally.

Miyazaki received an honorary Oscar for his lifetime achievements in film in 2014.

Spanish movie star Javier Bardem will receive a lifetime achievement award at the opening gala of the festival, which runs until Sept. 30.

Originally intended to honor Spanish language films, San Sebastian has established itself as one of the world’s top movie festivals.


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