Japan’s Studio Ghibli Named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at Busan

Venerable Japanese cartoon company Studio Ghibli has been named as Asian Film Maker of the Year by the Busan International Film Festival.

The festival will present its annual award at a ceremony during the upcoming festival (Oct 1-10) to be attended by chairman and producer Suzuki Toshio.

The festival plans to screen Miyazaki Hayao’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988) in the Open Cinema section and Takahata Isao’s Only Yesterday (1991) in the Wide Angle – Animation Showcase section. Before the festival proper gets under way the Busan Cinema Center will play a further 18 Ghibli titles in a special ‘Spotlight on Studio Ghibli’ section, Sept. 21-27.

Most previous recipients of the prize have been individuals, including Andy Lau, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Yash Chopra, though an award to a company has one precedent. In 2005 the festival gave the award to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

Ghibli was founded 30 years ago by directors Takahata Isao and Miyazaki Hayao and has gone on to carve out an iconic position in Asian and world cinema thanks to the distinctive hand drawn works of Miyazaki in particular, as well as its stances on environmental protection, peace, and the future of children.

Miyazaki won the Berlin festival’s Golden Bear in 2001 and the 2002 animation Oscar with “Spirited Away”. Isao also earned an Oscar nomination for 2013 film The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.”

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