Venice, Italy, Sept. 1 (Jiji Press)--Leading Japanese animation film director Hayao Miyazaki will retire from movie production, it was learned Sunday.
According to participants in the ongoing Venice International Film Festival, Studio Ghibli Inc. President Koji Hoshino told a press conference in the Italian city that Miyazaki, 72, will retire with the latest full-length film, "The Wind Rises" (Kaze Tachinu), released on July 20. The movie, which features the chief engineer of the Zero fighter plane used in World War II, has become a box office hit drawing an audience of over 6.49 million as of last Monday.
Miyazaki is schedule to hold a press conference in Tokyo on Friday.
After producing the "Future Boy Conan" (Mirai Shonen Konan) television animation series in the late 1970s, Miyazaki started his career as a movie director with "Lupin the Third: Castle of Cagliostro." Later, he launched Studio Ghibli and released many animated features, including "My Neighbor Totoro" (Tonari no Totoro) and "Princess Mononoke" (Mononoke Hime).
Notably, "Spirited Away" (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) was highly rated in not only Japan but overseas for its humanistic storyline and superb picture and animation quality, wining the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" (Kaze no Tani no Naushika) and "Ponyo" (Gake no Ue no Ponyo) are also among Miyazaki films that attracted many viewers.END
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