The Ottawa International Animation Festival presents a retrospective of features in honour of Academy Award winning Japanese director, animator and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki. Many of the films in this tribute will be shown in 35mm for the first time in Canada.

Born in 1941, Miyazaki started to animate in 1963, contributing to many television animation series and theatrical features, such as The Adventures of Hols, Prince of the Sun (Isao Takahata, 1968). By 1979, Miyazaki began directing with Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. This was followed by his Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), which was based on Miyazaki's successful manga -- a graphic novel art form which was the source of a number of his other films including Porco Rosso (1992).

In partnership with Takahata, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli which soon became known for quality production. Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (1997), the third-biggest box-office success in Japanese history, was followed by Spirited Away (2001), the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan. Miyazaki's films have gone on to international success, with honours for best film or best animated film from the Japanese Academy Awards to the New York Film Critic's Circle Awards or the Berlin International Film Festival. He has been called the greatest Japanese film director by no less than Akira Kurosawa.

Although regarded by Japanese critics as embodying his homeland's culture, Miyazaki's vision synthesizes visual influences as diverse as the graphics of McCay and Tenniel, and draws on literary sources as far afield as Jonathan Swift and Maurice LeBlanc. The most critically-acclaimed Japanese director today, Miyazaki's work is loved by legions of fans worldwide. Now the Ottawa International Animation Festival brings these films, hitherto available only on VHS or DVD, to
the big screen.

Sponsored by the Embassy of Japan

 
Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime) [1997]
Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli
Japan / 35 mm / 134:00
Japanese with English subtitles

Thursday, September 23, 3:00 pm (Bytowne)

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka, a young prince, finds himself in the middle of a war between the animals of the forest and Tataraba, a mining colony. In his quest he encounters San, a young girl the Mononoke Hime. Princess Mononoke, among its multiple themes and allegories, represents much of Japan's mythology and culture. It is also a film of conflicting dualities: silence and sound, myth and legend, man and nature, past and present – all within a mythical perspective. Skillfully constructed, the detail in Miyazaki's story and animation is absolutely astounding.

 
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind [1984]
Hayao Miyazaki
Nibariki
Japan / 35 mm / 116:00
Japanese with English subtitles
Considered by many to be Miyazaki's most important work, this movie is the story of a princess growing up in a near-feudal world in the distant future, after war has destroyed much of the Earth's environment and technology. A love of all living things and an impassioned drive lead her into terrible danger as she discovers that the dark forces of the world beyond her homeland are matched in intensity by her own feelings of rage, pain, and loss. Can she lead her people beyond survival to reconciliation with nature and with each other?
 
Laputa: Castle in the Sky 
(Tenkû no shiro Laputa) [1986] 
Hayao Miyazaki 
Studio Ghibli 
Japan / 35 mm / 124:00  
English language version

Friday, September 24, 11:00 am (Bytowne)

Laputa: Castle in the Sky has become one of Hayao Miyazaki's most admired works. A masterpiece in storytelling and filmmaking, the story delves into an exciting tale of two orphans, Pazu and Sheeta, each of whom is linked to Laputa, a secret floating city of mysterious power. In search for the mythical city, both vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around Sheeta's neck. Throughout their journey they encounter air pirates, battle secret agents and astounding obstacles that keep them from the truth. Partly based on Miyazaki's experiences on a study trip to Wales, as well as Jonathan Swift's heroic saga Gulliver's Travels.

 
Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) [2001]
Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli
Japan / 35 mm / 125:00
Japanese with English subtitles

Friday, September 24, 7:00 pm (National Archives) 
In his latest endeavour, Miyazaki enters into the dream-like world of a ten-year-old girl, Chihiro. On the journey to their new home, Chihiro and her parents come across a tunnel in the countryside that leads them into an old, abandoned theme park. However as Chihiro wanders off alone, night falls and she returns to find her parents transformed into pigs, leaving her trapped in the spirit realm. Miyazaki's continual exploration of the tension between environments – domestic, natural, social, and political – gives this film the feel of a familiar dream being played out in front of your eyes.
Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo-no Takkyubin) [1989]
Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli
Japan / 35 mm / 103:00
English language version

Saturday, September 25, 1:00 pm (Bytowne)
Based on a successful Japanese children's book, Kiki's Delivery Service tackles Miyazaki's typical humanist themes of transition, wonderment and emotional growth in exquisite fashion. A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult. In order to support herself she runs her own air courier service.
Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta) [1992]
Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli
Japan / 35 mm / 94:00
NEW English language version!

Sunday, September 26, 1:00 pm (NAC Southam Hall) 
Initially planned as a 30-minute in-flight movie on Japan Airlines, Porco Rosso was intended to be a “distraction for tired business people in a stuffy airplane cabin.” Instead, it became a feature-length movie about an Italian Air Force pilot, Marco, who left the service due to the rise of fascism. Although typically known for creating works for children, Porco Rosso illustrates Miyazaki's strength as a director in his prime creating a film that is as suitable for adults as it is for children.