Tag Archives: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Holocaust comedy snares grand prize at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Philip Brasor, Special To The Japan Times

Philippine trans people, Scandinavian reindeer herders and a romantic comedy about the Holocaust dominated the closing ceremony of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival on Thursday.

The ceremony at Ex Theater Roppongi opened appropriately enough with awards to individuals who furthered domestic cinema this year, including Godzilla, who appeared on stage to accept an award for the year’s big hit, Shin Godzilla, on the 62nd anniversary of the first Godzilla film released in 1954.


Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, decked out in a matching black pantsuit and fedora, awarded the Grand Prix to The Bloom of Yesterday, a provocative comedy about two Holocaust researchers — one German, the other French — who battle over history while falling in love.

However, the top award didn’t arouse as much audience excitement as Koike’s announcement that next year’s TIFF budget would be even larger than this year’s, thanks to additional government expenditure for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Another festival winner was “Die Beautiful,” a Philippine film about a transgender woman who dies while being crowned for a beauty pageant. In addition to winning the Audience Award, the film’s leading man, Paolo Ballesteros, won the festival’s best actor award, although presenter Mabel Chung made the point that Ballesteros could have easily won either the “best actor or best actress” prize.

The best actress award went to Lene Cecilia Sparrok, the teen star of the Swedish-Danish-Norwegian co-production, Sami Blood, which examines the discrimination that the indigenous Sami people of northern Scandinavia suffered, and which also won the second place Jury Prize. Sparrok, a reindeer herder in real life, was so overwhelmed that she lost her English-language capability and conveyed her gratitude in Sami.

The best artistic contribution prize went to Mr. No Problem, a gorgeously shot and staged comedy of manners, financed and produced by the Beijing Film Academy, about a Chinese farm and its impossibly agreeable manager that takes place in 1943, when Japan and China were at war.

During his Grand Prix speech, jury head Jean-Jacques Beineix stressed that what unified the films he and his colleagues judged this year was their rejection of a “globalist mindset.” All of the films “accepted our differences” and proved that “a universal cinema does not exist.”

The fact that there were no Japanese winners in the main competition categories wasn’t lost on local reporters. During the post-ceremony news conference, one Japanese journalist asked Beineix how he “discussed” the two Japanese entries with his colleagues.

“As you know, our discussions have to be kept secret,” Beineix replied, evincing a wave of laughter. In any case, Poolsideman, which depicts the lonely life of a Tokyo pool lifeguard, won the Japan Splash prize for domestic indie films, and director Hirobumi Watanabe openly wept on stage while accepting the award.




29th Tokyo International Film Festival Unveils Full Lineup

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held a press conference to announce lineups in the all sections, jury members, and this year’s topics and highlights at Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo.


From left: Daigo MATSUI, Yu AOI, Munetaka AOKI, and Mamoru HOSODA ©2016 TIFF

Yasushi SHIINA, Director General of TIFF & TIFFCOM, made opening remarks and announced that the festival muse for this year is Haru KUROKI, one of the most accomplished actresses in Japan. TIFF’s programing directors then took the stage to introduce the lineup for each section of the 29th edition, as well as to reiterate the prior announcements of the Opening film, Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins and the Closing film, Yoshitaka MORI’s Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow.

In the Competition section, 16 films were selected from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries and regions. Representing the two Japanese titles in this main competitive section, director Daigo MATSUI and actress Yu AOI from Japanese Girls Never Die, and actor Munetaka AOKI from Snow Woman were welcomed on the stage and made remarks.

Click here for the Full Competition Lineup.

Acclaimed director Mamoru HOSODA, who is being honored this year with “The World of Mamoru Hosoda” in the Animation Focus section, greeted the audience after the retrospective lineup was announced. He will appear for stage talks during TIFF with such special guests as director Hirokazu KORE-EDA and filmmaker Daisuke “Dice” TSUTSUMI.

This year’s International Competition Jury members were also announced. French director/writer/producer Jean-Jacques BEINEIX will serve as President, working with director Hideyuki HIRAYAMA, actor Valerio MASTANDREA, producer Nicole ROCKLIN, and director Mabel CHEUNG.

During the 10-day celebration, more than 200 films will be screened and there will be unique film-related events every day at the festival venues, including stage appearances, Q&A sessions and symposia featuring celebrated guests from around the world.

The 29th TIFF will take place October 25 to November 3, 2016 at Roppongi Hills, EX Theater Roppongi (Minato City) and other theaters, halls and facilities in Tokyo Metropolitan Area.



French director Jean-Jacques Beineix to head jury for 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

More than 200 films will be screened, with 16 taking part in the competition section, at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) running from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

The 29th TIFF will take place at Roppongi Hills in Minato Ward.

Jean-Jacques Beineix, director of “Diva” and the Oscar-nominated “Betty Blue,” is heading the jury, which includes Japanese director Hideyuki Hirayama, Hong Kong director Mabel Cheung, Spotlight producer Nicole Rocklin and Italian actor Valerio Mastandrea.

The 16 films in the competition section were selected from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries and regions.

During the 10-day affair, there will also be unique film-related events at the festival’s venues, including stage appearances, Q&A sessions and symposia featuring celebrated guests.

Among the guests will be Mamoru Hosoda, who is being honored this year with his own section in the Animation Focus category called “The World of Mamoru Hosoda.”

He was also at Monday’s news conference in the Toranomon Hills complex announcing the festival lineup.

(Source: Staff Report http://www.japantimes.co.jp)