TOKYO (TR) – The 11th Tokyo Filmex concluded on Sunday with its Grand Prize being awarded to the drama “Love Addiction,” the third feature from helmer Nobuteru Uchida.
Uchida made his feature-length debut with the love story “Kaza-ana” three years ago. “Love Addiction” covers similar themes, profiling the complicated romantic relationships between four co-workers.
“I think that Japanese independent films are of high quality,” said Uchida. “I am hoping that all of my colleagues who make films like this will continue to move forward in the future.”
The pic was awarded 1 million yen, which is 100,000 yen less than the film’s budget. The jury appreciated the low-budget nature of the film, saying that its intensity — largely created through strong acting and the use of a hand-held camera — conveyed a powerful expression.
Jury chairperson Ulrich Gregor, the director of the International Forum of New Cinema, said that it was a pleasure for the jury to discuss the 10 films in competition on their own merits and collectively. “We found that there were quite many films which fascinated us, thrilled us, told us important things about the way of living today, about our society, politics, and the state of mind of men and women,” Gregor said.
Billing itself as a festival that seeks out the endless creativity and possibilities of cinema, the week-long Tokyo Filmex (Nov. 20-28) featured roughly 40 new and classic films at theaters in and around the Yurakucho entertainment and business district.
Hundreds of biz luminaries, including legendary film historian Donald Richie, filled the Yurakucho Asahi Hall for the awards ceremony and the closing film “Poetry,” the drama by Chang-dong Lee (“Secret Sunshine”) centered on a grandmother who stumbles upon a shocking discovery that won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes this year.
Helmer Hao Jie’s debut “Single Man,” the story of single males in the director’s home village in rural China, was given the Special Jury Prize. The director had a special message for his father. “My parents and I, the three of us together, wrote the script,” said Jie. “My father unfortunately passed away in 2008 during the production of this film. But I feel that as he supported me then he is supporting me now and watches over me.”
“Peace,” a documentary from Kazuhiro Soda about an elderly care facility in Okayama, Japan, was given the Audience Award.
Lectures by four film professionals were given at the Next Masters Tokyo 2010 project, which assembled about 20 young Japanese and Asian filmmakers as the audience. The attendees were also requested to make presentations about their upcoming projects. Selected as the Best Project was Singaporean Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo,” and “It Must Be a Camel,” from Malaysian Charlotte Lim Lay, received the Special Mention.