TOKYO — Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar took home the Grand Prix at the 11th Tokyo International Film Festival on Sunday when his movie “Open Your Eyes” won the best picture award at the event.
The film about a handsome man who steals his best friend’s girlfriend and then has to struggle with disfigurement won out over the 17 films up for competition at the festival, which is the largest in Asia.
Grand Prix winners at Tokyo usually make it onto the list of nominees for an Academy Award for best foreign film. Last year’s best picture co-winners at Tokyo were “Perfect Circle” and “Beyond Silence.”
British director Guy Ritchie won the best director’s award for his movie “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” The film from the 29-year-old Ritchie is set in London’s underworld and follows four young men as they live on the fringes of the law.
Brad Renfro won the best actor award for the film “Apt Pupil” while newcomer Maki Miyamoto won best actress for the film “The Geisha House.”
Spielberg to visit
The geisha movie should be in theaters in Japan at about the same time Steven Spielberg comes to the country to shoot his own story of a woman of the Japanese pleasure quarters called “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
The Tokyo Gold Prize for young directors was given to Korean helmsman Lee Kwangmo for his move “Spring in My Home Town.”
An Iranian film that had been banned from export by the government called “Dance of Dust” won the award for best Asian film. The move from director Abolfazl Jalili has no dialogue yet tells the story of an 11-year-old boy in a small desert town.
Brad Pitt was on hand to close out the event as he sent the Japanese girls in screaming frenzies when he showed up for the premiere of his new film, “Meet Joe Black.”