GKIDS has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2016 Japanese documentary Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki. The film will be released theatrically this winter.
Directed by Kaku Arakawa, the film was originally broadcast in Japan on NHK in November 2016. Arakawa followed Miyazaki around for a two-year period following his “retirement” from the industry, as the animation legend worked on Boro the Caterpillar, a cg short created for the Ghibli Museum. Here’s how the documentary is described:
In 2013, film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But he couldn’t shake his burning desire to create. After an encounter with young cgi animators, Miyazaki embarked on a new endeavor, his first project ever to utilize cgi. But the artist, who had been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronted many challenges. The film even faces the danger of being cancelled. Can an old master who thinks he’s past his prime shine once again? This program goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using cgi.
“GKIDS is excited to be able to share this intimate, unfiltered, and incredibly insightful look at Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, at home and in the studio, as he struggles to complete his latest film,” says GKIDS CEO Eric Beckman. “Spending this much face time with Miyazaki is a rare treat, for fans and non-fans alike, as we witness in real time the passions, frustrations, irritations, and childlike enthusiasm of an acknowledged legend, acutely aware that he may be creating his final work, and striving to make something vital. More than a portrait of a filmmaker, the film is a window into the life, philosophy, and essence of an artist in the act of creation.”