Today at the Venice Film Festival, Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino announced that founder and world-renowned anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki will “retire from the production of feature-length films.” Miyazaki is to step down from directing any further feature films at the age of 72, making his current work ‘The Wind Rises’ (‘Kaze Tachinu’) his last film in such a role. “Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu will be his last film, and he will now retire,” said Hoshino. Hoshino did not give any further details, saying only that Miyazaki would hold a briefing in Tokyo this coming week. The director himself was not at the film festival.

This announcement does not rule out the possibility of “Miya-san” working on shorter projects or other endeavors. The 72-year-old director’s career has spanned over fifty years and includes many celebrated features, from ‘The Castle of Cagliostro’ to ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,’ ‘My Neighbor Totoro,’ ‘Princess Mononoke,’ ‘Ponyo,’ ‘Spirited Away,’ and beyond. And just to point out, retirement is something the master filmmaker has tried to do so twice before, but this time it does seem pretty official. Expect more on this shortly.

Hayao Miyazaki has won hearts and accolades around the world in a career that began in the 1960s. The most recent feature film of Miyazaki, ‘The Wind Rises’ (‘Kaze Tachinu’), has been playing in theaters in Japan since July. The film was nominated in the competitive program at the Venice Film Festival, which is running from August 28th to September 7th. Disney is set to distribute the film internationally.