Art & Entertainment

Cannes 2024: Studio Ghibli Receives The Honorary Palme d'Or, Makes History As First Collective Entity To Win Top Prize

Studio Ghibli was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday evening.

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Gorō Miyazaki accepting the Palme d'Or Photo: Instagram
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Studio Ghibli, the renowned Japanese anime studio, received an honorary Palme d’Or at the Grand Théâtre Lumière on Monday at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. Gorō Miyazaki, the head of creative development at the studio, accepted the award from Juan Antonia Bayona, a member of the Feature Film Jury and a huge admirer of Ghibli’s work.

“We’re all here because we’re besotted with this Japanese animation,” exclaimed Thierry Frémaux in his opening speech, adding, “For the very first time, Iris Knobloch and I decided to award the honorary Palme d’or to a studio, rather than a single creative. And what a studio! Represented by Gorō Miyazaki, I give you the Studio Ghibli!” In other words, this is the first time a group has received this award instead of a single person.

Prior to the trophy being handed over, a nine-minute compilation showcasing highlights from Studio Ghibli’s movies was screened, encapsulating its poetic artistry and ingenuity. This celebration of Studio Ghibli followed closely after the long-awaited success of ‘The Boy and the Heron,’ which had won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film back in March.

The founder, Hayao Miyazaki, was unable to attend the film festival but expressed his gratitude through a video message. His son, Gorō Miyazaki, a talented director known for works like ‘From Up on Poppy Hill,’ had the honour of accepting the award on behalf of the studio, its museum, and theme park.

Upon receiving the award, Gorō Miyazaki quipped, “When we won the Oscar for ‘The Boy and the Heron,’ the Ghibli representatives came home with a statue, but it wasn’t in a box; they had to wrap it in a hotel towel to transport it back. So I’m very glad to see this Palme is nicely packaged!”

The director emphasized that the award belonged not only to the teams behind Studio Ghibli but also to the public, “Ghibli was launched 40 years ago by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Tokuma Shoten. They may be the studio’s biggest contributors, but I want to extend this award to all the hard-working teams. This is an honour owed to all those who have loved our films, too. I’d like to thank all Ghibli fans.”

In a gesture of gratitude, the studio treated the audience to four Hayao Miyazaki shorts, three of which had never been shown outside of Japan, ‘Mei and the Kittenbus,’ ‘Looking for a Home,’ ‘Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess,’ and ‘Boro the Caterpillar.’

Previously, on the opening ceremony on May 14, Meryl Streep was awarded the Palme d’Or. The Cannes Film Festival will end on May 25.

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