Kyoto 2016: Awards and Winners
Taking place in one of the most inspiring and unique cities in the world, Kyoto International Film and Art Festival certainly takes full advantage of the many beautiful venues situated around the old capital. For the first time in its short history, the festival commenced at the glorious Nijo Castle, one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyoto. On October 13th, the castle became the site of the first of two prize-giving ceremonies held by KIFF annually.
The Shozo Makino Award, which was founded in 1958 to celebrate the importance and impact that the pioneering director Makino Shozo had on the early development of Japanese cinema, went to Shinoda Masahiro.
One of the key figures of the Japanese New Wave in the 1960s, Shinoda created a number of films that are considered classics by many film scholars and cinema fans alike. The 85-year old director received the long-lasting Award in recognition of his influence on the young generation of filmmakers.
The Toshiro Mifune Award, handed out during the closing ceremony held at the Kyoto Hotel Okura in the center of the city on October 16th, went to Abe Hiroshi, one of the major stars of contemporary Japanese cinema.
After Yakusho Koji and Nakadai Tatsuya in the previous years, Abe became the third person to be honored with the prestigious award. For his contribution to the promotion of Japanese film around the world, the actor received a scarf, especially designed by a Greek artist Michail Gkinis, and a prize of one million yen from Yoshimoto Kogyo. In his acceptance speech Abe said "After going to a foreign film festival this year, I've realized how difficult it is for Japanese films to get overseas exposure. I'd be extremely happy if I were able to have the power to propel change."
The event, which opened with a screening of selected festival footage, was accompanied by the appearance of many distinguished guests, including Takashima Reiko, famous actress, and Nogami Teruyo, longtime sctipt supervisor for Kurosawa Akira. The whole ceremony concluded with a delightful party for all the guests.
Growing bigger and stronger with every edition since its rebranding in 2014, Kyoto International Film and Art Festival will surely encourage more and more people to come to Kyoto and share the enjoyment of film and art in the coming years.