‘In Bloom’ Wins Tokyo Filmex Grand Prix

'Harmony,' 'Tokyo Bitch,' 'Ilo Ilo' also rewarded

TOKYO — “In Bloom,” a coming-of-age drama by Georgian director Nana Ekvtimishvili and German director Simon Gross, was awarded the Grand Prize at the closing ceremony of the 15th Tokyo Filmex fest, held Nov. 23-Dec. 1 in Tokyo.

The pic, which premiered in the Berlin Forum, focuses on two teenage girls in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in the turbulent early 1990s.

The Special Jury Prize was scooped by Emir Baigazin’s “Harmony Lessons,” which also won an Outstanding Artistic Contribution award at Berlin this year. Special Mentions went to Visra Vichit Vadakan’s “Karaoke Girl” and Koki Yoshida’s “Tokyo Bitch, I Love You” while the Audience Award was given to Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo.”

The fest opened with Jia Zhang-ke’s “A Touch of Sin” and closed with Rithy Panh’s “The Missing Picture.”

Filmex has long focused on films from Japan, Asia and the Middle East, though it also makes room for indies from Europe and the U.S. This year the fest also featured mini-sections on the classic pics of Jean Gremillon and Noboru Nakamura.

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