The long-delayed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will have its grand opening in LA at the end of September, and one of its inaugural exhibitions honors Japanese animator and Academy-Award winner, Hayao Miyazaki.

The museum will welcome its first visitors on 30 September, although it has planned a series of virtual programs starting on 22 April around the Oscars. Conceived as digital prologues to the Academy Museum’s core exhibition, Stories of Cinema, these programs will share the varied voices of film artists, tell the stories of their inspirations and collaborations, and explore the art, technology, history and social impact of the movies.

The interior of the David Geffen Theater at the Academy Museum in LA
Inside the 1000-seat David Geffen Theater © Iwan Baan Studios, courtesy Academy Museum Foundation

The first offering is Breaking the Oscars' Ceiling, a conversation hosted by Academy Museum trustee, Diane von Furstenberg, and moderated by the Academy Museum’s Jacqueline Stewart. They will be speaking with women who achieved historic Oscars milestones, including actor Sophia Loren, actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, actor Marlee Matlin and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum was originally slated to open in 2017 but ran into some fundraising difficulties and delays. It will have two theaters, including the 1000-seat David Geffen Theater and 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, and will show a slate of film screenings that celebrate cinema’s rich past, present and future.

The museum’s inaugural temporary exhibition, Hayao Miyazaki, will present all of the legendary Japanese animator's features in both Japanese with English subtitles and with English dubbing. There will also be as an additional series exploring the worlds, ideas and stories created by this master filmmaker over his 60-year career, which included co-founding Studio Ghibli.

“The programs we are rolling out for our opening are dynamic, diverse and deeply grounded in the history and artistry of filmmaking," says Jacqueline Stewart, the museum's chief artistic and programming officer. "Whether they are recognizing Hollywood legends, delving into the working process of film professionals, or addressing issues of race, gender, sexuality and inequity that run through film history, these programs will use the power of movies and stories of filmmakers to open eyes and minds.”

People look at sled from the film Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane vignette inside Stories of Cinema exhibit © Academy Museum Foundation/Image by wHY architecture

Family members of Hollywood legends will be invited to discuss the legacy of film artists and provide first-hand insights into film history. There are also film artists in conversation with scholars and activists about the relationship between documentary and narrative film and topics presented in the museum’s Stories of Cinema. These include #MeToo, pay equity, Black Lives Matter, climate change and labor relations. Further details on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures can be found on its website here.

This article was first published on 1 February 2019 and updated on 12 March 2021.

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This article was first published January 2019 and updated March 2021

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