Hayao Miyazaki has announced his retirement from feature films

Oscar-winning Japanese animator and film director Hayao Miyazaki is retiring. (Toru Yamanaka )

Hayao Miyazaki, one of the world's most admired animators, is retiring. His latest project, "The Wind Rises," which has been playing in Japanese theaters since late July, will be his last feature film.

The announcement, which saddened many in the animation community, was made at a news conference at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday by Koju Hoshino, president of Miyazaki's production company, Studio Ghibli.

Hoshino declined to take questions, saying only that more details would be given next week at another news conference in Tokyo.

WATCH: Trailers from Venice

Miyazaki, 72, began turning heads with his work in anime for television in the 1970s, and he went on to make nearly a dozen renowned feature films, including "Princess Mononoke," "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away," for which he won an Oscar.

"The Wind Rises," which takes a visually stunning look at the man responsible for designing Japan's World War II fighter planes, is currently screening in Venice and will be released in North America by Disney's Touchstone Pictures.

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