Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron”: A Special Preview Screening at Japan Society

Japan Society today announced a special preview screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming feature film The Boy and the Heron on Friday, November 17 at 8:30pm at Japan Society (333 E. 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues). The Boy and the Heron is the most-anticipated Japanese film of the year, and Japan Society will present a members-only screening of the latest from the acclaimed Studio Ghibli ahead of its wide national release on December 8.

This special event is co-presented by the film’s US distributor, GKIDS.

Writer, director, and animator Hayao Miyazaki is a universally beloved figure in the world of Japanese animation and one of the foremost storytellers in the world. His works transcend the reach of traditional anime films and have attached themselves to the hearts and minds of families, filmgoers, and critics across the planet. Cherished by both animated and live-action audiences, his works include My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Ponyo (2008).

Further, among his films, his Spirited Away (2001) broke every box office record in Japan and won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film; his Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) received the Osella Award at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival; and his The Wind Rises (2013) was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Miyazaki was personally awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival, and in 2014, the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.

“We could not be more proud and humbled to present Miyazaki’s latest film to audiences at Japan Society,” said Japan Society Director of Film Peter Tatara. “A deeply personal film, The Boy and the Heron is a profound semi-autobiographical fantasy, and it is nothing short of an opus from a master artist pouring himself on screen.”

The Boy and the Heron, Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, had its North American Premiere as the Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival. Tickets to all five TIFF screenings sold out in record time, and the film received glowing reviews and placed top three for the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. The film made its US premiere at the prestigious New York Film Festival, its European premiere as the opening night of San Sebastian International Film Festival, its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, and most recently, its L.A. premiere as the Opening Night Feature at the Animation is Film Festival. Following these sold out screenings, Japan Society is now honored to present an exclusive members-only preview to its patrons. A center for Japanese film in New York City since the 1970s, Japan Society has welcomed cinema greats including Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Hideko Takamine, and Nobuhiko Obayashi, and it is home to JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Cinema, the largest contemporary Japanese film festival of its kind. It is rightful and fitting now for Miyazaki’s newest landmark film to grace the Japan Society screen.

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, The Boy and the Heron follows the story of Mahito, who, after losing his mother, moves to the country with his father and new stepmother. There, he encounters a mysterious gray heron, who guides his odyssey into another world. It is a tremendously personal tale pulled from Miyazaki’s own experiences and emotions about family, legacy, and what we inherit. 

Following Japan Society’s event, The Boy and the Heron will see a wide release beginning on December 8, more details at gkids.com.

Tickets for this preview screening are exclusively available for Japan Society members. This screening takes place in Japan Society’s landmarked headquarters at 333 East 47th Street, one block from the United Nations. For complete information, click HERE.