The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is pleased to announce that we will be highlighting the work of legendary actor Koji YAKUSHO and emergent animation director Masaaki YUASA at the 31st TIFF, running October 25 – November 3, 2018.
This year’s TIFF Japan Now section will shine a spotlight on the internationally acclaimed actor Koji YAKUSHO, hosting a retrospective of his works as leading actor, from classic films to his latest masterpiece, demonstrating his indelible contributions to the Japanese film industry, as well as to foreign co-productions.
Over a stellar 40-year career, Yakusho has won best actor awards at a variety of international film festivals, such as with Cure (1997) at TIFF, Warm Water Under the Red Bridge (2001) at the Chicago International Film Festival, Walking My Life (2007) at Film Madrid, The Woodsman and the Rain (2011) at the Dubai International Film Festival and The World of Kanako (2014) at the Sitges Film Festival. He has also starred in a remarkable number of other award-winning films: The Eel (1997) won the Palme d’Or, Eureka (2001) received the prize of the Cannes Ecumenical Jury and Babel (2006) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In the TIFF Animation Focus, we will showcase the work of Masaaki YUASA, who has been attracting recent international attention and awards within and outside of Japan. Yuasa has long been involved in popular animated series, such as Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan and Crayon Shinchan. His acclaimed 2017 film Lu Over the Wall won the Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. It was the first time in 22 years that a Japanese film received the top prize at the leading French festival, following Hayao MIYAZAKI and Isao TAKAHATA. Months later, his next original feature, Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) won the Grand Prize for Features at the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, marking the first-ever win for a Japanese director. Yuasa’s increased international recognition has not only prompted widespread interest in his earlier work, but also given him a prominent role in both current and future anime culture.