Tokyo — Korean helmer Oh Young-Doo’s “Invasion of the Alien Bikini” won the Grand Prix at the 21st Yubari Fantastic Film Festival in Yubari, Japan on Sunday.
The pic, about a boy trying to save the earth from bikini-clad aliens, was awarded a $25,000 cash prize — considerably more than its $4,300 budget. Oh is the first foreigner to win the competition, which this year attracted 347 entries from young helmers, of which nine were selected.
Helmer Kaizo Hayashi chaired the jury composed of Korean helmers Na Hong-jin and Kim Young-bin, actress Hairi Katagiri and Austin Fantastic Film Festival director Tim League.
Known as a favorite of Quentin Tarantino, who named a character in “Kill Bill” Gogo Yubari in honor of the fest, Yubari fell on hard times when the city, a former coal-mining center, went bankrupt and organizers were forced to cancel the 2007 edition.
The fest resumed in 2008 with private and public donations and by the close of this year’s four-day edition had recorded 10,927 admissions in a town whose entire population is 11,000.