“The Bloom of Yesterday” (directed by Chris Kraus) won the Tokyo Grand Prix and the WOWOW Viewer’s Choice Award at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival. The film which World Premiere at the festival, is about a stubborn Holocaust researcher and his eccentric female assistant, who makes an unexpected discovery.
29th Tokyo International Film Festival Award Winners
Tokyo Grand Prix: “The Bloom of Yesterday” (directed by Chris Kraus)
While studying the Holocaust with his eccentric female assistant, a stubborn researcher makes an unexpected discovery. With a touch of romantic comedy, this drama depicts the shadow that these historical events continue to cast over people’s lives.
Special Jury Prize: “Sami Blood” (directed by Amanda Kernell)
In the 1930s, the Sami, indigenous to the Swedish mountains, were subjected to discrimination. Refusing to accept this fate, a young girl sets out to change her life. This moving drama, made by a Swedish Sami director, is set in stunning Lapland.
Award for Best Director: Hana Jusic (“Quit Staring at My Plate“)
Marijana lives humbly with her problematic family in coastal Croatia. She isn’t exactly unhappy, but when an unforeseen event happens, everything changes. This drama explores the mind of its introverted heroine with special directorial flair.
Award for Best Actress:Lene Cecilia Sparrok (“Sami Blood”)
Award for Best Actor:Paolo Ballesteros (“Die Beautiful”)
Trisha, a transgender woman who makes a living as a beauty contestant, dies unexpectedly. Before she died, her one last wish was to remain beautiful even in death. This moving work, filled with laughs, is the latest effort by Jun Robles Lana.
Award for Best Artistic Contribution: “Mr. No Problem” (directed by Mei Feng)
The Audience Award: “Die Beautiful” (directed by Jun Robles Lana)
WOWOW Viewer’s Choice Award: “The Bloom of Yesterday”(directed by Chris Kraus)
Best Asian Future Film Award: ”Birdshot” (directed by Mikhail Red)
Birdshot is a mystery-drama that tells the story of a young farm girl who wanders off into a Philippine forest reserve. Deep within the reservation she mistakenly shoots and kills a critically endangered and protected Philippine Eagle. As the local authorities begin a manhunt to track down the poacher of a national bird, their investigation leads them to an even more horrific discovery.
The Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center: Alankrita Shrivastava (”Lipstick Under My Burkha”)
Four women have secrets: a burkha-clad college girl dreams of becoming a pop singer; a young, two-timing beautician seeks to escape from her small town; a mother of three has another life as a saleswoman; a 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexual desire through a phone romance. Lipstick Under My Burkha is Alankrita Shrivastava’s second feature, depicting women’s struggle for independence. Konkona Sen Sharma from Luck by Chance and others give convincing performances.
Japanese Cinema Splash
Best Picture Award: “POOLSIDEMAN” (directed by Hirobumi Watanabe)
In a suburb north of Tokyo that seems to be secluded from the world’s madness and malice, Yusuke Mizuhara works as a lifeguard at a swimming pool. With no family, friends or love, his life is lonely and monotonous. One day, he goes to another pool as a replacement guard with his unpopular coworker Koji Shirasaki… The latest film by Hirobumi and Yuji Watanabe of And the Mud Ship Sails Away… and 7 Days, both of which screened at TIFF, POOLSIDEMAN marks the debut of Gaku Imamura in the title role. The Watanabe Brothers create ambitious films with a unique view and sensibility, and here, expose the twisted depths of Japanese society and the inexplicable tendencies of Japanese people.
SAMURAI Award: Director Martin Scorsese, Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
ARIGATO Award: Makoto Shinkai(Director), Mitsuki Takahata(Actress), Satoshi Tsumabuki(Actor), Godzilla(King of Monsters)