Studio Ghibli’s newest film, “The Boy and the Heron,” will make history in September as the first Japanese film to open the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Key details: The film festival announced the news in a tweet on Thursday, sharing that “The Boy and the Heron” — the first movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki in almost a decade — will be screened at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Sept. 7.
In a follow-up tweet on the same day, TIFF noted that this will be “the first time a Japanese film or an animated film has opened the Festival.”
“We are honored to open the 48th Toronto International Film Festival with the work of one of cinema’s greatest artists,” TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey said in a statement, as per the Associated Press.
Initial release: “The Boy and the Heron” first premiered in Japan on July 14 under the title “Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka,” or “How Do You Live?” in English. It reportedly made 1.83 billion yen (approximately $13.1 million) during its opening weekend despite zero marketing efforts.
Following U.S.-based film distributor Gkids’ recent acquisition of the film’s North American rights, it will be released as “The Boy and the Heron” in the region.
What it’s about: Bailey described the film as “a simple story of loss and love” that “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,” he continued.