Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki to be awarded honorary Oscar

Honours too for screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, Maureen O'Hara and Harry Belafonte

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 9:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 9:52pm


Veteran Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, whose Studio Ghibli recently announced it was halting filmmaking, will receive an honorary Oscar, the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced.

The other recipients of the award this year are French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere and actress Maureen O'Hara, the academy's board of governors announced on Thursday.

The award, which honours the recipients' lifetime achievements in the film industry, will be presented at a ceremony in Los Angeles on November 8.

Miyazaki's Spirited Away won the Oscar for animated feature film in 2003. His other works include Princess Mononoke and The Wind Rises, which was nominated for best animated feature at the 86th annual Academy Awards in March.

Miyazaki said last September he would retire from filmmaking, and earlier this month his Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki announced that production was being suspended to concentrate on managing the studio's existing cinematic assets.

Characters created by Miyazaki and Ghibli are among the most beloved in Asian animation, including the furry forest god Totoro, and are huge merchandising money-spinners.

The only other Japanese to receive the award was Akira Kurosawa in 1990 at the 62nd Academy Awards.

Once part of the annual Oscars telecast, the Governors Awards are now a separate event that has become a popular stop in the awards season campaign.

US actor Harry Belafonte will meanwhile be awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in November.

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Belafonte began performing in theatres and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born. Throughout his career, he shed light on racism and inequality with films such as Carmen Jones, Odds Against Tomorrow and The World, the Flesh and the Devil.

He was an early supporter of the civil rights movement who marched alongside Martin Luther King, became a Unicef goodwill ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Carriere began his career as a novelist and was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Etaix. The two won an Oscar for the live-action short Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary) in 1962, and Carriere received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with Luis Bunuel for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire.

He earned a fourth Oscar nomination for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, directed by Philip Kaufman.

O'Hara, a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star in The Hunchback of Notre Dame opposite Charles Laughton. She went on to appear in a range of films including Sinbad the Sailor, This Land Is Mine and A Woman's Secret.

Additional reporting by Kyodo