‘Hot as Hell’ wins at Yubari fest

'Block' nabs Michi Governor's Prize

TOKYO — Yosuke Okuda’s laffer “Hot as Hell” was awarded the Grand Prix in the off theater competish section at the Yubari Fantastic Film Festival on Sunday.

Okuda’s third pic to screen at Yubari and first feature, “Hot as Hell” follows the comic and violent misadventures of two bumbling drug dealers.

Korean helmer Seul-Woo Hyung’s “The Block” won the Michi Governor’s Prize and Tomoya Maeno’s “Footed Tadpoles” was awarded the Special Jury Prize and the new Cinega Award.

Hong Kong helmer/producer Jonnie To headed the competish jury that included Japanese thesp Ryo Ishibashi, Japanese helmer Nobuhiro Yamashita, Jeonju Film Festival program director Jung Su-wan and New York Asian Film Festival programmer Marc Walkow. The 20th edition of the fest, which unspooled Feb. 25-March 1, also featured screenings on Sunday of a digital version of Yoji Yamada’s 1977 classic “The Yellow Handkerchief” and the 2008 Udayan Prasad remake, starring William Hurt.

Launched in 1990, Yubari has long served as a launching pad for new helmers, as well as a showcase for upcoming pics with a popular appeal. Screenings at this year’s festival included “Green Zone,” “Hurt Locker,” “An Education,” “District 9” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

“Sherlock Holmes” closed the fest while “Surely Someday,” the directorial debut of hot thesp Shun Oguri (“Crows Zero”), opened it.

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