by Chris MaGee
Over the past few years the beginning of the Toronto International Film Festival has become the unofficial start of the annual awards season. From here on in we'll be seeing a slew of films hit theatres, all of them vying for Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs and of course the Japanese Academy Awards.
One awards race that fans of international film always keep their eyes on is the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscars. Traditionally there are approximately 65 countries who choose a single film to represent them in this race, and obviously Japan is one of these. In the past few years Eiren, The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, have chosen such films as Masayuki Suo's "I Just Didn't Do It", Ryoichi Kimizuka's "No One to Watch Over Me" and Tetsuya Nakasima's "Confessions" to carry the flag for Japan in the competition; and of course in 2009 Yojiro Takita's "Departures" surprised the world and took home the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscars. Since then hopes always run high that another Japanese film will storm the podium and snag another trophy for Japan.
This year it looks like these hopes will hinge on a film by one of Japan's living cinema legends. 99-year-old Kaneto Shindo's latest (and according to to him his last) film "Post Card" has been selected by Eiren to represent Japan in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 84th annual Academy Awards next year. The selection of Shindo's film, about the impact of WW2 on a small Japanese town, doesn't necessarily mean that we'll see Shindo or the film's stars Naomasa Musaka and Shinobu Otake on the red carpet in February though. The entries from across the globe will be whittled down by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences over the coming months so that there will only be five final films in the category. We wish "Post Card" the best of luck in this process.
Thanks to Film Biz Asia for this news.