Tokyo 2014: The Safdie Brother's HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT Takes Top Prize

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Tokyo 2014: The Safdie Brother's HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT Takes Top Prize
Tokyo International Film Festival wrapped up with a closing ceremony to announce the winners of its many awards. The Competition Section consisted of 15 films presided over by Jury President, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. The jury was made up of film directors John H. Lee, Robert Luketic, Eric Khoo, Shinagawa Hiroshi and casting director Debbie McWilliams.
The full list of winners are as follows:

Samurai Award
Created this year to celebrate filmmakers continuing to convey innovation in films, Ringu actress and festival 'Muse' was on hand to present the award to Kitano Takeshi and Tim Burton.

Kitano Taksehi's directing career began in 1989 with Violent Cop, but being leading comedian for a lot longer he delivered this quip filled speech:
"Thank you, I was here at the very first TIFF but it wasn't as grand. We walked on a green carpet which made us feel like grasshoppers, I'm glad its back to red now. I'm glad I won but there's no prize money. I think they made the award out of a piece of the old one. I didn't want to win the prize alone so they said they'd get Tim Burton an award too, so I wasn't as shy."

Tim Burton: "
It's an honor to be here with you and with him and with all these Japanese monsters that I love."

Japanese Cinema Splash
Winner - 100 Yen Love Dir. Masaharu Take

"I'm very honored our film was chosen at TIFF and want to thank the jurors for choosing us.
This film started out with small scenario nut with award we will have more power to get our film shown somewhere else"

Japanese Cinema Splash Jury member Tony Rayns described himself and his fellow jurors as the "the delinquent jury, we all smoked cigarettes and we all felt outside of 'cool Japan', maybe the films didn't fit in with that idea either". He then gave a special mention to Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday.

The Spirit of Asia Award
Winner - The Last Reel Dir. Sotho Kulikar

Jury member Tadao Satoh:
"we were able to choose a wonderful film for this new section that picks out a new director, we chose a film that depicts strife during civil war.
This film was screened twice and I was there both times to witness many of the audience members crying, it was moving and reached the hearts of the audience. We believe this emotion will spread over the world we hope this award will help the film to travel."

Sotho Kulikar:
"I want to thank TIFF and Japan for selecting my Cambodian film. This will help boost the recognition of the filmmaking industry in my home country, Cambodia. This success I owe so many people, whether you are here, in Cambodia or in Australia. Thanks to my children, my sister for being here, and to my mother, a great role model in my life. Without her I would not be here. My mother once told me that before the civil war took place, she said to my father that we should leave the country and stay in Europe a little while. My father said why would you want to leave cambodia and live in Europe where there is only 6 months of sunshine each year, in our country when you open the window the sun shines everyday. His expression was for his love of his country, so this award is for my country, Cambodia."

Best Asian Future Film Award
Winner: Borderless Dir. Amirhossein Asgari

Cameron Bailey:
"We watched films from across this diverse hemisphere, image, gesture and time, the lead actor is a young boy who gives an incredible performance and he does it without delivering one word of dialogue."

Amirhossein Asgari:
"I feel so nervous, I don't know what to say but I want to dedicate this award to everyone who loves peace in this world.
This is my first film and first award so it makes me very happy."

Competition

Wowow Viewer's Choice Award
Winner: Test Dir. Alexander Kott

"I'm very happy to get this award, usually jury members are experts in the industry, but this award was chosen by viewers so I know they're honest and so I am very honored."

Audience Award
Winner: Pale Moon Dir. Daihachi Yoshida

Daihachi Yoshida:
"This prize means that the audience members voted for my film so I really feel the weight of this award. It's a big encouragement for my career. I'd like to thank tiff for allowing me to reach an audience.

Lead actress Rie Miyazawa:
"To get this award at TIFF so soon before the release of the film on November 15th, I was nervous about opening on November but now I can relax."

Best Artisitc Contribution
Winner: Test Dir. Alexander Kott

"I believe film is all about visual artistry and technology so me and the cinematographer tried to do that, I think this award was awarded because of that. My artistic actions are supported by my muse my wife who is sitting there tonight."

Best actor
Winner: Robert Wickiewicz - The Mighty Angel

Best Actress
Winner: Miyazawa Rie - Pale Moon
Juror John H. Lee:
"It was a unanimous decision, a performance so profound, so spirited, so deep, sensitive yet fragile, her eyes spoke of freedom of spirit, and words can't describe her beauty.

Miyazawa Rie:
"I am shaking so much, it's like winning the best fortune at the shrine. It's been seven years since I made a film so I was nervous going in, but the director was tenacious, if I could I would give half of this award to director Yoshida."

Best director
Winner: Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie - Heaven Knows What

Joshua Safdie
"It's an honor to be here and share the film with the Japanese people who we have the utmost respect for."

Benny Safdie:
"Our job was made much easier by Caleb Landry Jones and Arielle Holmes who are here today. It is a true honor, I've experienced more in the past few days than in my entire career, Tokyo is a city of movement and speed, so the watch (I won) will come in handy when we're seeing how fast things go.
I want to thank the jury and festival and most importantly my lovely brother."

Special jury prize
Winner: The Lesson: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov

Juror Hiroshi Shinagawa:
"We're very honored to give this prize. This film had us on the edge of our seats, really nervous and completely stressed out in a positive way. The acting was great from Margita Gosheva who many times was the only one on screen. A great film."

Petar Valchanov:
"Thank you it's a great honor. Thank you to Margita Gosheva, she's the heart of the movie and to the co-director my wife and my daughter and thank you to our teachers in Bulgaria."

Kristina Grozeva:
"Our third prize and considering the film was made on a nano-budget we have come a along way. Thank you."

Tokyo Grand Prix
Winner: Heaven Knows What Dir. Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie

Jury President James Gunn:
"Hey everybody! This film bursts with life about people living on the brink of death and attempting to do something and it belies the craftsmanship of performances underneath that. The music is disruptive in all the best ways and it's shameless. I love this movie. I'm very excited about the futures of all the filmmakers who made this.

Joshua Safdie:
"I spoke earlier, praising the ideas of extremes and extremism. We made a film about Arielle, I met her a year and half ago doing research for another film, now she's making other films and we're sharing this. I'm not making this up but when we got into tiff it was a very exciting moment in my life, I thought this would work with Japanese audiences who understand extremism."

Benny Safdie:
"So much sacrifice was put into this film and for it to be recognized, it does mean a lot. I want to thank Ronald Bronstein who we couldn't do this without. Our grandmother's friend said something amazing about this film, that it's about people with no future and no past. I'm a little shaken up but thank you.

The final speech was delivered by Jury President, James Gunn:
"We've been on a trip around the globe from Poland to the Philippines to New York to Iran and so on. Through our travels we've discovered a lot of differences but more important illuminated how we're all the same. Each film is about people wanting to love or be loved. We're all human beings but we communicate in different ways. Watching these films as a collection I've gotten to know people better and myself better. Experience things through the joy of cinema. I'm so grateful to fans, staff, press, the city of Tokyo and to everyone else, thank you, I love you."
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heaven knows whatthe safdie brotherstifftokyotokyo international film festivals
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