31st TIFF to shine spotlight on Japanese actor Koji Yakusho, animation director Masaaki Yuasa

Koji Yakusho, Masaaki Yuasa

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  in its 31st edition. The 2018 TIFF will run from October 25, 2018 to November 3, 2018.

The Japan Now section of the 2018 TIFF will shine a spotlight on 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, the internationally acclaimed actor has won best actor awards at a variety of international film festivals.

Yakusho was awarded at the TIFF for his performance in the 1997 film “Cure,” at the Chicago International Film Festival for the 2001 film “Warm Water Under the Red Bridge,” at Film Madrid for the 2007 film “Walking My Life,” at the Dubai International Film Festival for the 2011 film “The Woodsman and the Rain” and at the Sitges Film Festival for “The World of Kanako.” He has also starred in a remarkable number of other award-winning films, including the 1997 film “The Eel,” which won the Palme d’Or, the 2001 film “Eureka,” which received the prize of the Cannes Ecumenical Jury and the 2006 film “Babel,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

On the other hand, the TIFF Animation Focus will showcase the work of Yuasa, who has been attracting recent international attention and awards within and outside of Japan. He has long been involved in popular animated series, such as “Doraemon,” “Chibi Maruko-chan” and “Crayon Shinchan.”

Yuasa’s 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, Yuasa’s next original feature, the 2017 film “Night is Short, Walk On Girl” won the Grand Prize for Features at the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, marking the first-ever win for a Japanese director. His 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.

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