Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, which premiered at the Venice film festival, will be the famed Japanese animator’s last, in an announcement that saddened fans the world over.

Koju Hoshino, president of Miyazaki’s production company, Studio Ghibli, revealed the film-maker’s retirement in a short announcement in Italy.

“Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) will be his last film, and he will now retire,” Hoshino told festivalgoers in Venice.

A full press conference will be held in Tokyo next week. “He wants to say goodbye to all of you,” Hoshino added.

Miyazaki was not in Italy for the debut of his final movie, which garnered $80 million at the Japanese box office in six weeks.

The 72-year-old animator co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 along with Isao Takahata and has 11 feature films under his name, including classics Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and the Academy Award winning Spirited Away.

Miyazaki also won a lifetime achievement award from the Venice film festival in 2005.

The Wind Rises traces the life of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of Japan’s World War II “Zero” fighter planes and will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as at the New York Film Festival.

By: Maisie Bertumen

Image: sebra / Shutterstock.comn