Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shinji Aoyama's "Tokyo Koen" gets special jury prize at Locarno

by Chris MaGee

The 64th annual Locarno Film Festival wrapped up in Switzerland on Saturday, and as we reported previously a couple of titles from Japan were competing for the fest's top prize, The Golden Leopard. Those two films were Shinji Aoyama's "Tokyo Koen" and Katsuya Tomita's "Saudade". While neither of these films picked up the top prize... that honour ended up going to Milagros Mumenthaler's "Back to Stay"... there was special recognition given to one of the two of Japan's entries.

Portuguese film producer and head of this year's Locarno jury Paulo Branco said that the jury was so impressed by Aoyama's adaptation of Yukiya Shoji's novel "Tokyo Koen", the tale of an amateur photographer named Koji who is hired to follow the girlfriend of a colleague, that they decided to create a special jury award for the film. Very good news indeed! "Tokyo Koen" opened in Japan in June, but we're still waiting on additional festival stops to be announced.

Thanks to Yuko Shiomaki of Pictures Dept. for word on this, and to The Hollywood Reporter for additional details. Make sure to check out the trailer for "Tokyo Koen" below.

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