by Chris MaGee
The 21st Annual Tokyo International Film Festival wrapped up this past weekend the top award at the fest, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, was awarded to Kazakhstani director Sergey Dvortsevoy's tale of a young soldier's search for a bride "Tulpan".
Of special interest to Japanese film fans Jun Ichikawa's final film "buy a suit" (above) won the Best Picture Award for the festival's Japanese Eyes programme. Ichikawa's widow, Sachiko, gave a tearful acceptance speech in which she thanked everyone involved in the production of the film. Ichikawa, who is best known in North America for his Haruki Murakami film adaptation "Tony Takitani" passed away while he was still editing "buy a suit".
Also Tetsu Maeda's "School Days with a Pig" starring Satoshi Tsumabuki took home the Tokyo IFF Audience Award and the Toyota Earth Grand Prix Jury Award.
A special award was given to veteran actor Ittoku Kishibe for his role in Fujiro Mitsuishi's manga adaptation "Osaka Hamlet" in which he co-stars opposite Keiko Matsuzaka.
Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to Variety Japan and Tokyograph for the details on this story.