This weekend saw Japan's hardened genre fans head north to the wintry climes of Hokkaido for the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, an always-excellent parade of established and emerging talent from the country and surrounding region. Just moments ago, the winners were announced for the Fantastic Off Theater Competition, where five shorts and five features from new filmmakers duke it out for the Grand Prize of 2 million yen (approximately US$20,000). Previous winners have included Korean director Oh Young-doo's Invasion of Alien Bikini
and Ishihara Takahiro's Osaka Violence
. Last year's other big winner was a personal favourite of mine, Taichi Suzuki's The Brat!
This year's jury is headed by the incredibly talented Tsukamoto Shinya, director of such insane works as Tetsuo: Iron Man, Snake of June and Kotoko. He is joined this year by director Yoshida Daihachi (Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers!), Korean film expert and critic Darcy Paquet, PiFan programmer Alice Yoo and actor Yamamoto Hiroshi.
And the winners are:
Hokkaido Governor's Prize (3rd Place):
Winter Alpaca (dir. Harada Yuji, 29 minutes)
Special Jury Prize (2nd Place):
A Case of Eggs (dir. Kanchiku Yuri, 40 minutes)
Jury Grand Prize (1st Place):
There is Light (dir. Toda Yukihiro, 68 minutes)
Toda's There is Light also won the Cine-gar Award, voted for by the local press.
Be sure to check back in the coming days for reviews of all the award-winning films, as well as plenty of the other films that debuted at Yubari 2013.
Many thanks to Marc Walkow
for providing the competition results!
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