Los Angeles – October 23, 2018 -- The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen legendary director and animator Hayao Miyazaki as the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement award, to be given at the organization’s annual awards dinner on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City.

LAFCA’s other top awards will be decided by the membership on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, and those winners will be honored along with Miyazaki at the January event.

Academy Award® winner Hayao Miyazaki is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation directors of all time. As the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki has been responsible for such acclaimed films as the award winning Spirited Away (including 2002 LAFCA Award for Best Animation), My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle.

“We are thrilled to be presenting our Career Achievement award to Hayao Miyazaki, who has transported our members--and audiences around the world—to his enchanting, indelible and vividly imaginative worlds through his gorgeous and thematically rich animation,” said LAFCA president Claudia Puig. “The way in which Miyazaki inspires an audience’s sense of wonder is unmatched. I particularly admire his depiction of self-sufficient, determined and courageous female characters who don’t need saving. He has explained his cinematic approach simply: ‘Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.’ These words resonate more powerfully than ever in our current times.”

The 77-year-old Japanese director, writer, producer and animator is currently working on a feature length film called How Do You Live? which is expected to be released by 2020.