Renowned Japanese anime house Studio Ghibli launched its festival in Melbourne on Thursday with the premiere of two short films.
The Celebrate Studio Ghibli festival is set to provide a rare opportunity for fans to experience the beautifully realised worlds created by this studio, which is best known for its films My Neighbour Totoro (1998), and Academy Award-winning, Spirited Away (2001).
The month-long film season will follow a comprehensive program of Studio Ghibli’s entire catalogue of 23 titles, back on the big screen at participating cinemas across Melbourne.
ACMI was proud to announce its involvement in the festival season, which celebrates the creative genius behind the studio, Hayao Miyazaki – film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author and artist.
James Hewison, ACMI’s head of film programs, said Studio Ghibli had transcended all boundaries and become a cultural phenomenon.
“That Studio Ghibli, its films, its filmmakers and its characters have endured across generations and cultures is reason enough to revisit your most loved characters and catch up with undiscovered gems from this Academy Award-winning animation studio,” Mr Hewison said.
“At ACMI we urge audiences of all ages and tastes to experience the moving image and in the work of Studio Ghibli there’s considerable cause for celebration.”
ACMI will present many of the films in their original 35mm format, to highlight the studio’s attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship, which will show off the fine art of cel animation.
Superfan and artist, Ammie Yodsan, grew up with Studio Ghibli and said she was excited to finally experience her favourite films on the big screen.
“Studio Ghibli was my childhood. I love their beautiful theme songs, soundtracks, stories and animations; I pretty much love everything they have created,” Ms Yodsan said.
“I think it’s great that they’re presenting their work in Melbourne. They’ll get more recognition and I’m sure they have many fans here, since Melbourne is one of the most creative and artistic cities, in my opinion.”
Ms Yodsan said she had learnt a lot from watching anime, and it had motivated her artistically.
Ms Yodsan’s artwork was inspired by “No-Face” (Kaonashi) from Spirited Away.
“Studio Ghibli’s films are very inspirational; they’ve influenced my creative mind. They inspired me to draw, to dream and to have hope. Its stories are for people of all ages – we can all relate to them somehow,” Ms Yodsan said.
“They’ve taught me to be brave, considerate, caring and share my happiness with others. It has opened my eyes to the world. The characters all have problems they overcome, just like we do. It’s like they understand what we are thinking and feeling.”