Tokyo fest has eye on ‘Spies’

Pic's selection was a surprise

TOKYO — “OSS117, Cairo Nest of Spies,” a spy parody by French helmer Michel Hazanavicius, was awarded the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix at Sunday’ Tokyo Film Festival closing ceremony.

Pic’s selection was a surprise: The critics panel rating the 15 competition entries for the fest’s daily newsletter gave it mostly low-to-mediocre marks. One jury member, unhappy with the competition pics and what he described as the jury’s “aversion to deliberation,” told Daily Variety the choice was “a comment on the quality of the competition.”

“Little Miss Sunshine” grabbed director kudos for helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, actress honors for pint-sized star Abigail Breslin and the audience award.

Chinese helmer Lu Yue won the Special Jury Prize, the fest’s second-place award, for “Thirteen Princess Trees,” a drama about rebellious teens in contemporary China.

Roy Dupius picked up the actor prize for his work in “The Rocket,” while the award for artistic contribution went to veteran Hong Kong helmer Patrick Tam for “After This Our Exile.” Pic also took the Asian film award in the Winds of Asia section.

Milos Forman and 90-year-old helmer Kon Ichikawa were both recipients of the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement. Ichikawa’s latest, the mystery “Murder of the Inugami Clan,” preemed as the fest’s closing pic.

In the Japanese Eyes section, the pic award went to “The Cats of Mirikitani,” a doc about a Japanese-American homeless artist by U.S. helmer Linda Hattendorf. Kengo Kora took home the section’s special award for his starring turn as a violence-prone teen in Ryuichi Hiroki’s drama “M.”

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