Toronto International Film Festival to open the day with Hayao Miyazaki’s film: is it a win for Anime?

Toronto International Film Festival to open the day with Hayao Miyazaki's film: is it a win for Anime?

The 48th Toronto International Film Festival is going to have a historic opening night. For the first time, an animated film will be the opening movie. It is Hayao Miyazaki’s latest work, “How do you live?”. This is a big deal because it could change the way people see anime in the film industry. In this article we will explore how Miyazaki’s achievement is going to impact the anime industry.

What is Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF 2019
Torrent International Film Festival 2019 (Image via TIFF)

The Toronto International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film events in the world, has been a beacon of cinematic excellence since its inception in 1976. Showcasing an eclectic mix of international films, TIFF attracts filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

Hayao Miyazaki: Return of the animation maestro

Hayao Miyazaki and his latest work "How Do You Live"
Hayao Miyazaki and his latest work “How Do You Live” (Image via IMDB)

Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend in the world of animation. He had previously declared his retirement from the animated world, however he made a triumphant return with “How do you live?”. The visionary director is known for reshaping the Japanese anime industry with his enchanting storytelling and stunning visuals. With his comeback, he has crafted yet another masterpiece that promises to capture hearts and minds worldwide.

Miyazaki’s impact on audiences

Released in theaters on July 14, “How do you live?” swiftly garnered immense popularity in Japan. Within a span of just 12 days, the film attracted an audience of approximately 2.61 million, earning a staggering box office revenue of 4.01 billion yen. The overwhelming response reaffirms Miyazaki’s ability to resonate with viewers of all ages and backgrounds.

A milestone for Japanese anime

The selection of “How do you live?” as the opening film at TIFF marks a pivotal moment in the history of anime. It is the first Japanese film and the world’s first animated feature to grace the festival’s opening night, elevating the genre’s standing in the global film community.

Cameron Bailey’s acclaim

Cameron Bailey, the CEO of TIFF, expressed his excitement for “How do you live?” and hailed it as a masterpiece in Japan. He commends Miyazaki’s ability to take a simple story of loss and love and transform it into a work of astonishing imagination. Bailey promises TIFF attendees a unique and innovative experience, one that transcends cultural boundaries and leaves a lasting impression.

Miyazaki’s past achievements  at TIFF

Hayao Miyazaki and Spirited away poster
Hayao Miyazaki and Spirited away poster (Image via IMDB)

This is not the first time that Hayao Miyazaki’s work has graced TIFF’s screens. In 2002, his iconic film “Spirited Away” was exhibited at the 27th Toronto International Film Festival, receiving widespread acclaim. The following year, it achieved even greater recognition by winning the Best Animated Feature Film at the 75th Academy Awards, further solidifying Miyazaki’s status as a master storyteller.

Impact on the animation genre: A win for anime

Hayao Miyazaki's creations
Hayao Miyazaki’s creations (Image via Studio Ghibli)

The spotlight on “How do you live?” signifies a turning point for the animation genre. With Miyazaki’s film leading the way, anime has the potential to break free from the confines of niche audiences and gain recognition as a respected and influential art form.

Miyazaki’s films, renowned for their universal themes and captivating narratives, transcend cultural barriers. As “How do you live?” premieres at TIFF, it fosters an environment of inclusivity and appreciation for diverse storytelling from around the world.


As the 48th Toronto International Film Festival prepares to open its curtains with Hayao Miyazaki at tiff with “How do you live?”, the anticipation and excitement are palpable. This historic moment not only celebrates the mastery of Miyazaki but also marks a potential turning point for anime’s recognition in the film industry. “How do you live?” promises to take audiences on a mesmerizing journey of imagination, love, and loss—a true testament to the power of storytelling through animation.

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