Hayao Miyazaki At The Film Spirited AwaySad news to come out of the Venice Film Festival this weekend – Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli and living legend amongst animators, has announced his retirement from filmmaking.

The announcement was made prior to the premiere of Miyazaki’s latest, and now last, animated film The Wind Rises, which debuted in competition during the Festival. Miyazaki was not in attendance, and few other details were revealed other than his departure from filmmaking and that a press conference will be held in Tokyo this week where Miyazaki himself will explain his reasons.

Miyazaki, 72, made many feature films within his Studio Ghibli brand, including Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and most recently The Wind Rises. He won the Best Animated Film Oscar for 2002’s Spirited Away, and was nominated for a further one with 2005’s Howl’s Moving Castle.

Vincent Maraval, a longtime collaborator with Miyazaki, called the filmmaker “simply the greatest animator that ever was” and called his retirement “the end of an era… At the same time, he is ending on a masterpiece that leaves us with his great humanism and a vision of our century to contemplate.”

Maravel refers to The Wind Rises, which is set for a US release later this year in its native Japanese language (there is no English dub confirmed as of time of writing). The trailer is available for viewing below.

While it is sad to see someone as talented and passionate about the craft as Miyazaki step down, audiences of all ages can be grateful for the legacy of inspiring and beautifully-crafted films he has left behind.

SOURCE: Deadline Hollywood (http://www.deadline.com/2013/09/venice-hayao-miyazaki-to-retire-after-competition-pic-the-wind-rises/)