Entertainment & Arts

Director Hayao Miyazaki to retire

Hayao Miyazaki
Image caption Hayao Miyazaki's career spans more than 50 years

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, who won an Oscar for his 2001 animated film Spirited Away, is set to retire.

The 72-year-old's animation studio announced the news at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday.

Koju Hoshino, president of Studio Ghibli, said Miyazaki's latest project, The Wind Rises, would be his last film.

The director is also known for his movies Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo.

Mr Hoshino declined to take questions on Miyazaki's decision to retire, but said more details would be given next week at another press conference in Tokyo.

Image caption Spirited Away told the story of Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who is whisked away to a spirit world

"He wants to say goodbye to all of you," he said.

Miyazaki was not in Venice for the international premiere of The Wind Rises, which is showing in competition.

The director's 11th feature film tells the story about the engineer who designed Japan's World War II fighter planes.

Miyazaki - who is one of the most respected directors in animation - first came to prominence in the 1970s with his work in anime for TV.

He previously retired after the release of 1997 film Princess Mononoke, but returned to direct Spirited Away to great acclaim.

Howl's Moving Castle followed in 2004, and was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar.

In recognition of his five-decade career, he was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 2005.

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