Studio Ghibli's 'The Boy and the Heron’to close 50th edition Film Fest Gent

The Boy and the Heron still 1
News 30 Aug 2023
Are you ready to be deeply moved and enchanted? The closing film of the anniversary edition of Film Fest Gent is the long-anticipated new title from Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, The Red Turtle)! What's more, the film was made by none other than Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki, the man behind beloved animated films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The Boy and the Heron was received as a mature, complex masterpiece in Japan. For the first time, Film Fest Gent is making the official award ceremony preceding the closing film and the reception afterwards open to the public.

We are thrilled to conclude our 50th anniversary edition on 20 October, the day before the World Soundtrack Awards, with The Boy and the Heron, the latest and probably last film by Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder and driving force behind the influential animation studio Studio Ghibli. Since the 1980s, Ghibli has been a global phenomenon with unforgettable films like My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s first film since the Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises (2003) and is another autobiographically inspired, complex and imaginative epic.

The wind rises


A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

With endlessly detailed backgrounds, stunning compositions, magical elements and young characters discovering the world and themselves, The Boy and the Heron is a Miyazaki film through and through. The director called upon his regular collaborators. The original music is by Joe Hisaishi, while Atsushi Okui was responsible for the photography.

Distributor Paradiso Filmed Entertainment will releaseThe Boy and the Heron in Belgian theatres on 1 November 2023.

Closing Film Open to the Public

Whereas in the past the closing ceremony and reception were for invitees only, Film Fest Gent now offers the opportunity to all film lovers to attend this festive moment.

Marijke foto Bas Bogaerts
“A closing ceremony where directors receive awards from the hands of our International Jury is often an emotional and significant moment for a filmmaker and their film. The fact that we want the public to witness this during our festive 50th anniversary edition and to celebrate afterwards, demonstrates our ambition to put the collective experience of cinema at the forefront of everything we do and to create as many meaningful moments as possible between filmmakers, the film industry and also the public."
Marijke Vandebuerie Algemeen directeur Film Fest Gent

Buy tickets

End the 50th edition of Film Fest Gent in style. You can buy tickets for the closing film (15 euros) or the closing film with award ceremony and reception afterwards (50 euros).