If you’re seeking a flight from reality in these challenging times, Studio Ghibli is here to help. Courtesy of Japanese broadcaster NHK, a new, four-part documentary on the career of animation master and Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is now available to watch in its entirety, and for free, online. Watch all four parts here.
Released in 2019, “10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki” chronicles the life and decades of work of an iconic filmmaker, from “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Ponyo” to “Spirited Away” and “The Wind Rises.” The documentary also illuminates aspects of Miyazaki’s personal life, and his reflections on aging, as well as his relationship with his son, fellow filmmaker Gorō Miyazaki. “10 Years” also takes a look at how Studio Ghibli and its projects reckoned with the earth-shaking 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that set off a nuclear disaster.
Studio Ghibli movies began streaming exclusively for the first time outside of North America on Netflix back in February. But as announced last year, HBO MAX secured streaming rights to Ghibli's epic catalogue in North America, and 21 of those films will be available to stream once the service goes live in May.
According to Studio Ghibli producer and erstwhile president Toshio Suzuki, Miyazaki signed off Ghibli films heading to streaming platforms partially because he’s not aware of what a streaming service is. “Hayao Miyazaki doesn't know what streaming services are. He doesn't use computers or smartphones,” Suzuki said while promoting the Studio Ghibli museum last month.
Suzuki also implied that future Ghibli projects would likely head to streaming platforms. “I am interested in the new movies that are being made on Netflix,” the producer said. “It's more likely that new films will be created for Netflix's service. As a film creator, even though I think that cinemas and DVD's are important for a film release, I also think that digital distribution is important.”
Miyazaki is reportedly working on a new film, his first animated feature project since the release of “The Wind Rises” back in 2013. While the director said he would be retiring from feature filmmaking, he reemerged with a short film for Japan’s Studio Ghibli museum titled “How Do You Live?,” which is based on a 1937 book penned by Genzaburo Yoshino.
IndieWire recently featured Miyazaki’s early “The Castle of Cagliostro” as part of its Stream of the Day column.
EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.
Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”