The coming-of-age Swedish film “We Are the Best!” bagged the Sakura Prize as the 26th edition of the Tokyo International Film Fest drew to a close on Friday. The film, directed by Lukas Moodysson, bested 15 other films to win the top prize and $50,000 which were awarded during the closing ceremony at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo.
Chinese producer Chen Kaige, who was the jury head for the festival said that the film, based on the childhood of the director’s wife, had “energy, charm, and a good portrayal of human relationships,” which they all agreed was the criteria they were looking for, together with technical excellence. The film, “Bending the Rules” by Iranian filmmaker Behnam Behzadi won the Special Jury Prize and $20,000. In his poignant acceptance speech, he dedicated his prize to his countrymen and to the artists who are not afraid “to cross the red line.” The film is about the generation gap between the older generation parents and their theater-performing children.
For the acting awards, Best Actor went to China’s Wang Jingchun for his portrayal of a non-fiction writer that was investigating the life of a dead police officer in Inner Mongolia in the film “To Live and Die in Ordos.” Meanwhile comedic actress Eugene Domingo won the Best Actress prize for a surprising dramatic turn in the Philippines‘ “Barber’s Tales” in which she played a woman who inherits her husband’s hair-cutting business and aids rebels during the martial law regime.
Iceland’s Benedikt Erlingsson won the Best Director award for his debut film “Of Horses and Men,” which is about a strange, horse-riding community in Iceland. For the “Japanese Cinema Splash” section (formerly “Japanese Eyes”) section, Ayumi Sakamoto’s “Forma” took the top prize. The section focuses on showcasing independent Japanese movies and introducing them to an international audience.
[ via Tokyo Reporter ]