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Ghent Film Festival tribute to Studio Ghibli

Japanese animation film fans are in for a real treat at the 36th edition of the Ghent Film Festival (6-17 October), with its film retrospective on Studio Ghibli, Japan’s premiere animation studio founded by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. The retrospective reflects the festival’s Asia theme and ties in with the anime exhibition held at The Carmelite Friary – Provincial Centre of Art and Culture.
Studio Ghibli is one of Japan’s most successful animation studios. Takahata Isao and Miyazaki Hayao founded the studio in 1985 to fulfil their long-time dream of bringing high quality, independent, animated films to the silver screen. With their unique visual style, the duo has attracted audiences from all over the world, producing box office successes that are truly works of art.

Founder Hayao Miyazaki is the creative force behind most of the films in the Studio Ghibli catalogue. With his universal themes – ethics, pacifism and the human/nature relationship – he has managed to appeal to Western sensitivities as well, superseding cultural boundaries. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle are among some of his best-known films. Miyazaki has won numerous awards on the international festival circuit, including a Golden Bear for Spirited Away, as well as an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. The Ghent Film Festival will be featuring Castle in the Sky (1986), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008). In addition to these Hayao Miyazaki films, the festival will also be showing Pom Poko by Isao Takahata, The Cat Returns by Hiroyuki Morita and Tales from Earthsea by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki’s son.

The Studio Ghibli retrospective reflects the festival’s Asia theme and ties in with the anime exhibition held at The Carmelite Friary – Provincial Centre of Art and Culture. From 9 October 2009 to 10 January 2010, film fans can bask in the wonders of Japanese anime as an art form, with a complete overview of the genre. The collection was compiled by the German Film Museum in Frankfurt, which also curated the Carmelite Friary’s Stanley Kubrick exhibition in 2006-2007. Featuring hundreds of original drawings, 3D objects and film clips, the exhibition covers a wide variety of anime sub-genres, from internationally renowned films such as Akira and Princess Mononoke to Tezuka Osamu’s classic Astro Boy character and computer games such as Final Fantasy and Pokémon.


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