A Special Preview Screening Of “The Boy And The Heron,” A Film By Hayao Miyazaki, At The Japan Society

October 27, 2023

Japan Society today announced a special preview screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming feature film The Boy and the Heron on Friday, November 17, 2023, at Japan Society in NYC. 

The Boy and the Heron is the most-anticipated Japanese film of the year, and Japan Society will present a members-only screening of the latest from the acclaimed Studio Ghibli ahead of its wide national release on December 8, 2023.

This special event is co-presented by the film’s US distributor, GKIDS.

Writer, director, and animator Hayao Miyazaki is a universally beloved figure in the world of Japanese animation and one of the foremost storytellers in the world. His works transcend the reach of traditional anime films and have attached themselves to the hearts and minds of families, filmgoers, and critics across the planet. Cherished by both animated and live-action audiences, his works include My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Ponyo (2008).


Further, among his films, his Spirited Away (2001) broke every box office record in Japan and won the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film; his Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) received the Osella Award at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival; and his The Wind Rises (2013) was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Miyazaki was personally awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival, and in 2014, the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.

“…a master artist pouring himself on screen.”

“We could not be more proud and humbled to present Miyazaki’s latest film to audiences at Japan Society,” said Japan Society Director of Film Peter Tatara. “A deeply personal film, The Boy and the Heron is a profound semi-autobiographical fantasy, and it is nothing short of an opus from a master artist pouring himself on screen.”


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The Boy and the Heron, Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, had its North American Premiere as the Opening Night Gala of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival. Tickets to all five TIFF screenings sold out in record time, and the film received glowing reviews and placed top three for the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. The film made its US premiere at the prestigious New York Film Festival, its European premiere as the opening night of San Sebastian International Film Festival, its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, and most recently, its L.A. premiere as the Opening Night Feature at the Animation is Film Festival. Following these sold-out screenings, Japan Society is now honored to present an exclusive members-only preview to its patrons. A center for Japanese film in New York City since the 1970s, Japan Society has welcomed cinema greats including Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Hideko Takamine, and Nobuhiko Obayashi, and it is home to JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Cinema, the largest contemporary Japanese film festival of its kind. It is rightful and fitting now for Miyazaki’s newest landmark film to grace the Japan Society screen.

“…(a) tale of … family, legacy, and what we inherit.”

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, The Boy and the Heron follows the story of Mahito, who, after losing his mother, moves to the country with his father and new stepmother. There, he encounters a mysterious gray heron, who guides his odyssey into another world. It is a tremendously personal tale pulled from Miyazaki’s own experiences and emotions about family, legacy, and what we inherit. 

Following Japan Society’s event, The Boy and the Heron will see a wide release beginning on December 8, more details at gkids.com.

Tickets for this preview screening are exclusively available for Japan Society members. This screening takes place in Japan Society’s landmarked headquarters at 333 East 47th Street, one block from the United Nations. For complete information, click HERE.

Japan Society Members-Only Preview Screening. From the acclaimed Studio Ghibli comes Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki’s first film in 10 years. This landmark motion picture in Japan had its sold-out U.S. premiere at the prestigious New York Film Festival, and Japan Society is now honored to present an exclusive members-only preview screening prior to its wide theatrical release on December 8.

Written and directed by Hayao MiyazakiThe Boy and the Heron follows the story of Mahito, a young boy burned by the tragedies of WWII and his odyssey into another world. It is a tremendously personal tale pulled from Miyazaki’s own experiences and emotions about family, legacy, and what we inherit. The Boy and the Heron is ripe with Studio Ghibli’s iconic fantastical creations and elevates them with profound themes from the heart of a master storyteller.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Kitano Hotel, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

Japan Society Film

Spurred on by the success of the 1970 Donald Richie-curated MoMA retrospective The Japanese Film: 1896-1969, Japan Society committed to making film one of its key programs in the early seventies—quickly becoming the premier venue for the exhibition of new Japanese cinema as well as career-spanning retrospectives on seminal directors and actors. In 1979, Japan Society established the Japan Film Center, formalizing film as a full-fledged, year-round program aimed at cultivating a deep appreciation and understanding of Japanese film culture among American audiences. Over the years, Japan Society Film has hosted numerous high-profile premieres and programs that include visits from Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Hideko Takamine, and Nobuhiko Obayashi. In 2007, Japan Society Film launched JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest festival of its kind in North America.

Japan Society

Japan Society is the premier organization connecting Japanese arts, culture, business, and society with audiences in New York and around the world. At Japan Society, we are inspired by the Japanese concept of kizuna (絆)–forging deep connections to bind people together. We are committed to telling the story of Japan while strengthening connections within New York City and building new bridges beyond. In over 100 years of work, we’ve inspired generations by establishing ourselves as pioneers in supporting international exchanges in arts and culture, business and policy, as well as education between Japan and the U.S. We strive to convene important conversations on topics that bind our two countries together, champion the next generation of innovative creators, promote mutual understanding, and serve as a trusted guide for people everywhere who seek to more fully appreciate the rich complexities and abundance of Japan. From our New York headquarters, a landmark building designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura that opened to the public in 1971, we look forward to the years ahead, which will be defined by our digital and ideational impact through the kizuna that we build. Our future can only be enhanced by learning from our peers and engaging with our audiences, both near and afar.

For further information, please visit www.japansociety.org.

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