26th TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL : AWARD WINNERS

26th TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL : AWARD WINNERS

logo_C³ TIFF Winners

            TIFF’s day-7, 8 and 9 still continues with more lineups and symposiums. Alongside the list of movies in each Competition, Asian Future, World Focus, Japanese Cinema Splash and Special Screenings sections, the festival still has some highlights in the schedule before they announce this year’s award winners. First is the premiere of ‘The Kiyosu Conference’, the first Japanese movie as the festival’s closing film, which held in four screening times ; one for the special P&I screening on Oct 23, and three schedules for the public screenings on Oct 24.

TIFF Kiyosu

        Lead by Japanese famous actor Koji Yakusho with the richest pageant of stars in the history of Japanese film, ‘The Kiyosu Conference’, director Koki Mitani’s long awaited 6th feature film based on the novel of the same name. Known as the conference that changed the course of history, ‘The Kiyosu Conference’ is a historical epic of the famous Oda Generals and successors.

TIFF Adele 2

            French owned romantic drama ‘Adele : Chapters 1 & 2’, a.k.a. ‘La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 or ‘Blue Is The Warmest Colour’ from director Abdellatif Kechiche is the next highlight. Screened on the festival’s last day, Oct 25, after the festival’s Closing Ceremony is the winner of Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Praised by juries headed by Steven Spielberg and most critics around the world, this boldly extraordinary love story based on the French graphic novel ‘Le Bleu est Une Couleur Chaude’ written by Julie Maroh has awarded both of its actresses and director for the first time in Cannes’ history.

TIFF Tokyo Olympiad

            The last is the world premiere of digitally restored version of their classic ‘Tokyo Olympiad’ to commemorate the selection of Tokyo as host of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Shot with ultra-telescopic lenses as innovative visual techniques at those times with over 70 hours of footages focusing on the human side of its athletes more than the winning results and even atmosphere of the games, this 1965 produced documentary directed by Kon Ichikawa which documented the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, was considered a work of art and milestone in the history of documentary filmmaking. The restoration by IOC (International Olympic Committee), JOC (Japanese Olympic Committee) and TOHO, Co. Ltd.  took more than two years restoring this film digitally.

AWARD WINNERS

Tokyo International Film Festival Audience Award

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‘Red Family’ directed by Lee Ju-hyoung

            First category to be announced in the list of the festival’s award winners is TIFF Audience Award. The award is presented to the most popular film among 15 films selected in the Competition Section, chosen by viewers’ votes. This year’s winner is Lee Ju-hyoung’s ‘Red Family’, which written and produced by Kim Ki-duk. With the appearance by Ju-hyoung, Kim Yumi and Park So-young (actress), the award ceremony began with a speech from Minato City Deputy Mayor Mr. Akira Oiyazu and Minato City Committee Chairman Mr. Tamotsu Hara.

TIFF Red Family

            Receiving the trophy and the cash prize of 10000 USD, director Lee Ju-hyoung said ‘I’m so full of joy. When our producer, Mr. Kim Ki-duk showed me the script, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to convey the wonderful message the story embodied. But the passion and energy from our brilliant cast and staff has created a story as if bringing it to life. The birth of ‘Red Family’ was made possible because of them, and I believed that their passion would transend the screen. But I am truly honored to receive the Audience Award!’. Actress Kim Yumi added that the film portrays the significance of forgiveness amid the differences in philosophy and convictions between the South and the North (Korea), which made the award is the greatest joy.

Japanese Cinema Splash Best Picture Award

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‘Forma’ directed by Ayumi Sakamoto

            By the members of Jury in Japanese Cinema Splash category ; Paolo Bertolin (Asia Pacific Program Advisor / Doha Film Institute), Christian Jeune (Deputy General Delegate / Cannes Film Festival) and Takahisa Zeze (Film Director), The Best Picture Award from Japanese Cinema Splash, which evolved from the ‘Japanese Eyes’ section in the previous years and newly focusing the Japanese independent filmmakers, goes to ‘Forma’ directed by Ayumi Sakamoto.

TIFF Ayumi Sakamoto

            The brief comment by Christian Jeune said that among the eight great films in Japanese Cinema Splash which presented the energy and big spirit in Japanese Independent Movie scenes, ‘Forma’ has the best cinematography, the richest visual and narrative qualities’. Receiving the award and the 1000000 Japanese Yen cash prize, director Ayumi Sakamoto cried and told that ‘Forma’, was a real fight which took more than 6 years to complete due her health problems along the way.

Best Asian Future Film Award

TIFF Today And Tomorrow

‘Today And Tomorrow’ directed by Yang Huilong

TIFF The Tale Of Iya

‘The Tale Of Iya’, directed by Tsuta Tetsuichiro, Special Mention

            By the members of Jury in the newly launched Asian Future Section ; Shinji Aoyama (Film Director), Jacob Wong (Currator, Hong Kong International Film Festival) and Koichi Nojima (Film Journalist), The Best Asian Future Film Awards goes to ‘Today And Tomorrow’ from director Yang Huilong, with the 10000 USD cash prize. ‘The Tale Of Iya’ from director Tsuta Tetsuichiro also received the Asian Future, Special Mention.

TIFF Yang Huilong

            On his brief commenty, jury member Shinji Aoyama added his own thoughts about the films in this section, that laughter was an essence that seemed to be missing among the films selected. He said, ‘I watched a total of 20 films at the Busan International Film Festival and at the Tokyo International Film Festival, but none of them made me laugh. Honestly, it’s good to express your themes and opinions, but the best way to transmit your message is through humor’.

The Competition Section :

The Award for Best Artistic Contribution

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‘The Empty Hours’ directed by Aarόn Fernández

            By the members of International Competition Jury ; Chen Kaige (Film Director / President of the International Competition Jury), Moon So-ri (Korean actress), Chris Brown (Producer), Chris Weitz (Film Director / Writer / Producer), and Shinobu Terajima (Japanese Actress), the first award in the Competition Section for Best Artistic Contribution goes to ‘The Empty Hours’ a.k.a. ‘Las Horas Muertas’ by director Aarόn Fernández.

TIFF Aaron Fernandez

            In his brief comment, Chen Kaige said that the film is a wonderful story about youth and the joy of love portrayed in the adult world. Came to receive the award and 5000 USD cash prize was the film’s sales agent, distributor in France and Fernández’s university classmate, Frederic Corvess. Fernández expressed through the video message, saying ‘Konnichiwa! I just got the wonderful news and I’d like to thank the juries as this is the first time I win a prize! It means a lot that it was at the Tokyo International Film Festival because I had a great experience in Tokyo. Everybody, drink sake for me and celebrate! Arigato gozaimasu!’

The Award for Best Actor

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Wang Jingchun for ‘To Live And Die In Ordos’

TIFF Wang Jingchung 2

            Announced by International Jury Member, Shinobu Terajima, The Award for Best Actor goes to Wang Jingchun in ‘To Live And Die In Ordos’.  Receiving the 5000 USD cash prize and the award, the actor Wang Jingchun also gave a special thanks to the director Ning Ying, his wife that also came to the ceremony and his assistant that dealt with him throughout the filming where Jingchun came so immersed and even lose 10 kilos weight for the role.

The Award for Best Actress

TIFF Barber's Tales

Eugene Domingo for ‘Barber’s Tales’      

             Announced by International Jury Member Moon So-ri, Phillipine actress Eugene Domingo won the award for Best Actress. Moon So-ri eloquently praised Domingo’s acting and said, ‘I have watched a lot of movies and there were many wonderful actresses. But this actress left a very strong impression with their energu and enthusiasm. She took us on a very difficult journey – a journey of an abused wife who stands up to fight for her rights’.

TIFF Eugene Domingo

            Convincingly transformed into Marilou role in ‘Barber’s Tale’ from her usual comedy acts, Eugene Domingo also did a comedy when she received the award and the cash prize of 5000 USD on the stage. Her first words was ‘This is nerve-wracking! I didn’t expect this, especially the money!’ And the truth that he already left Tokyo for a shoot and returned for the closing ceremony, she said ‘I have a headache now because of the sleepless nights working and travelling, but I was promised breakfast coupons in Tokyo so that convinced me to come!’. But also rolled out crying, she thanked the director Jun Robies Lana for entrusting her with the role. ‘Believe it or not, I’m a comedy actress. Tonight please help me acknowledge and applaud director Jun Robies Lana’.

The Award for Best Director

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Benedikt Erlingsson for ‘Of Horses And Men’

TIFF Bot

            International Jury Member Chris Weitz announced the award for Best Director, and it goes to Benedikt Erlingsson for his film ‘Of Horses And Men’. Received the award and cash prize of 5000 USD, Erlingsson held up the trophy and said ‘This trophy is for all my crew and also for the horses. To the horses I want to say, ‘neigh!’.

Special Jury Prize

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‘Bending The Rules’ directed by Behnam Behzadi

            Presented by International Jury Member Chris Brown, the festival’s Special Jury Prize goes to Behnam Behzadi’s film ‘Bending The Rules’. On his brief comment, Chris Brown said that it was an honor to announce this prize, and as a jury they were always attracted to films that struggle to voice the opinions in the filmmaker’s home ground. Brown then said that’s important when they can support and validate that voice.

TIFF Behnam Behzadi 2

            Shared the stage with actress Neda Jabraeeli to receive the award and 20000 USD cash prize, director Behnam Behzadi said that was an honor too to receive the award. He then said, ‘I’d like to share this moment with many people in Iran, and to the artists and people who are not afraid to cross the red line. I hope to return to the Tokyo International Film Festival with a new film!’.

Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix

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‘We Are The Best!’ directed by Lukas Moodysson

           Announced by this year’s President of International Jury Members, Chen Kaige, the festival’s highest award, Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, Governor of Tokyo Award goes to ‘We Are The Best!’ directed by Lukas Moodysson. On his brief comment, Chen Kaige explained why the film won the award. ‘For the main prize we were looking for excellence, a film that has energy, charm, and a good portrayal of human relationships. We all agreed that this film met all these criterias.’

TIFF Lukas Moodysson

            Yuji Tsukada, Director of General of the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs also awarded the certificate and Festival Muse, Chiaki Kuriyama awarded the Kirin statue to director Lukas Moodysson. Received the main award and cash prize of 50000 USD, Moodysson added that ‘We Are The Best!’ was not only his film but also his wife’s film, Coco Moodysson, the author of the original story from her graphic novel titled ‘Never Goodnight’. ‘The film was based on Coco’s childhood, so I also have to thank Coco’s childhood for this award!’. Reacted to this, Coco Moodysson also gave her comment, ‘I’m a cartoonist, so I shouldn’t be on stage because I’m shy, but we are so happy and We hope this inspires young girls and old women to play music!’

TIFF Chen Kaige 

            In the end, Chen Kaige made an overall comment at the festival’s closing ceremony, that they all the jury members were very happy with the final result. ‘It is clear that Tokyo International Film Festival is well organized, everything is in good shape, the audience is very passionate and there are nice people to help us do our job. However, I think Tokyo could attract more filmmakers especially young filmmakers from around the world. I believe in the near future, Tokyo International Film Festival will get more and better films in the Competition Section. I want to end this by saying one Japanese word for next year’s festival. ‘Baigaeshi!’ (means double payback).

TIFF Yasushi Shiina

            With total numbers of audience estimated for this year’s festival were around 35.139 (97 films, 303 screenings), Mr. Yasushi Shiina, director general for the Tokyo International Film Festival wrapped up the ceremony by his speech.  As he spoke in hopes to see young talented directors and actors enter the festival, fly out into the world from Tokyo, they had stated the message loud and clear. ありがとうございます。(Arigato gozaimasu), and let’s look forward to the next year’s 27th Tokyo International Film Festival!

Review:

We Are The Best! (2013, Sweden / Lukas Moodysson)

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            Returning to his emotional and endearing vitality of a coming of age-story from his debut feature, ‘Show Me Love’ (1998), swedish director Lukas Moodysson has again gave his warm thoughts of adolescence challenge in ‘We Are The Best!’ (also known as ‘Vi är bäst!’ in the original Swedish title). But being more personal, brought a memory of the rise of punk music in 1980s Stockholm sets beyond its astonishing teen spirits, ‘We Are The Best!’ is based on semi autobiographical graphic novel written by his wife, Coco Moodysson.

            There’s really nothing new about the plot, as three awkwardly looking misfits girls (played by Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne) who formed a punk band as a solitude to escape overbearing parents and high school bulliers in their search of identities.

           But with a match of punk and teenage rebellions theme all over the nods to ‘80s culture, Moodysson’s script has created a solid youth buzz in its every aspects. Brought the teen’s irritating POV to view all the characters and social problems, by the winning performance from the three young leads, not just the comedic moments are impressive, the natural chemistry, nostalgic tone behind classic soundtracks and colorfully authentic production details, Ulf Brantas’ expressive camera works to the hilarious punchlines also adds the excitements.

           It may look simple and cliché, but actually way deeper than you’d ever thought. Beyond clash of innocence, anarchy was never been this delightful!

~ by danieldokter on October 30, 2013.

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