Renowned Japanese anime giant Hayao Miyazaki won the best animated film award at the U.S. Golden Globes competition on Sunday, marking his comeback as the winner of a major international contest.

The 124-minute fantasy "The Boy and the Heron" marked the first time a film by a Japanese director has won the award in the category that was created in 2007.

Toshio Suzuki, producer of Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki's production company, said the win "feels exceptional" and expressed hope that it will provide "bright news" amid unfortunate events in Japan since the start of the year.