【The 35th Tokyo International Film Festival】Lifetime Achievement Award for Kurosawa Collaborator and Major Awards Going to Spanish-French Film The Beasts

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The 35th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) concluded on November 2, following 10 days of screenings and events at the festival's expanded venues in the Hibiya-Marunouchi-Yurakucho-Ginza area. The festival screened 169 films, an increase over the 126 last year, with 59,541 admissions (nearly double that of last year) and another 50,842 attending related events.

The Beasts' Spanish director, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, then addressed the audience via video, saying, "Hi Tokyo, hi everyone, I'm Rodrigo Sorogoyen, director of As Bestas (The Beast). Wow, I'm very happy for these two awards, the Best Director and the Best Film, the Tokyo Grand Prix. It's incredible, a big honor, huge honor to receive these awards. Thank you, thank you for the festival, thank you for the jury, and domo arigato. I'm very happy. I can't be there with you, it's a pity but I can't. I hope you enjoy the film, enjoy the festival, and enjoy the wonderful city. I'm very happy. Ciao, buenos noches, Tokyo."

Jury President Julie Taymor then described the winner of the Tokyo Grand Prix, The Governor of Tokyo Award, The Beasts: "An extraordinary film that is at once a psychological thriller, a deeply moving love story, and a multilayered commentary on class divide, xenophobia, and the gulf between the city and rural survival, this is truly a masterpiece of cinema. Not only the screenplay, a complex, gripping tale based on real events, but it's also excellent on every level: the acting, direction, music, cinematography. As the tension ramps up, and we feel the inevitable violence about to erupt, we are able to empathize with both sides of the conflict with the help of scenes rich in dialogue and time. The director has put together a highly charged and emotional film. They show us the beasts of burden are men in battle with men."

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko came on stage to present the award to Alberto Calero Lugo, a representative of the Latin Bean Film Festival, a TIFF collaborator. She then commented: "On behalf of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, I would like to express words of congratulations to the winner of the Tokyo Grand Prix, The Governor of Tokyo Award, the director and all the crew. Each year, new talent is born and comes to the world stage from Tokyo. The theme of the 35th TIFF is 'Leaping Forward,' and that’s what the festival symbolized. The world is in a very difficult situation, with climate crises and other conflicts, as well as the COVID pandemic. In order to proceed to a bright future, the diversity of culture is crucial. Art has the power to connect the minds and hearts of the people. We are hoping for a society that can nurture everyone's individuality."

TIFF Audience Award, by the window

Japanese director Imaizumi Rikiya was on hand to address the audience, and commented: "It's an honor to receive such a prestigious award. This is my second time in the TIFF Competition. I make films about small problems that people may have. In novels and films, creators tend to take up major issues, but in my work, my protagonists struggle with minor problems and aren't able to act. I will carry on with my efforts and do what I can do in my small way."

Julie Taymor then joined her fellow jurors on the stage and spoke for all of them as they concluded their duties. "As the president of the jury for the 35th Tokyo Film Festival," said Taymor, "I had the honor to preside over discussions concerning vast array of films from all over the world. The jury were taken on a journey through stories from North Macedonia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Spain, Italy, Chile, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Israel, Iran and Japan.

To see the dark and light side of cultures so different from our own, is the point of a festival like this. It is wonderful to experience the voices of new filmmakers with the passion to tell their stories and bring them to the attention of the world. And it is also wonderful to see experienced filmmakers still in the game creating new works of imagination through the struggle of a very real COVID time, and the ever-difficult grind of raising financing."

Award Winners

Competition Section

▼ Tokyo Grand Prix/The Governor of Tokyo Award: "The Beast" (directed by Rodrigo Sologoyen)

▼Special Jury Prize: "World War III" (directed by Houman Seiedi)

▼ Award for Best Director: "The Beast" directed by Rodrigo Sologoyen
▼Award for Best Actress: Aline Kuppenheim "1976"
▼ Award for Best Actor: Denis Menochet "The Beast"
▼Award for Best Artistic Contribution: "Peacock Lament" (directed by Mohammadreza Vatandoust)

▼Audience Award: "by the window" (directed by Imaizumi Rikiya)

Asian Future Best Film Award: "Butterflies Live Only One Day" (directed by Mohammadreza Wattanduust)

Amazon Prime Video Take One Award: None

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【Tokyo International Film Festival 2019】Submissions Open~Eligibility~

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