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Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki to retire, says Studio Ghibli

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hayao miyazaki (cinemafestival /
hayao miyazaki (cinemafestival /

Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Oscar-winning Japanese animator known for directing Studio Ghibli movies such as Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service, is retiring from feature-length film production. Studio Ghibli president Koji Hoshino made the announcement at the Venice Film Festival, where Miyazaki, 72, was not in attendance. Hoshino gave no details except to say that a press conference will be held in Tokyo later this week where Miyazaki himself will speak about the decision.

Miyazaki's latest — and apparently final — film is currently playing in Japanese theaters, and is in competition at Venice. Kaze Tachinu ("The Wind Rises") is a fictionalized biography of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Mitsubishi Zero aircraft used in World War II. Miyazaki directed eleven feature-length films in total, and also acted as producer and writer on other Ghibli movies such as Whisper of the Heart and Arrietty.