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WGA West to fete Japanese filmmakers

Quartet to receive Renoir screenwriting awards

The Writers Guild of America West has named four Japanese filmmakers — Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima and Hideo Oguni — as the honorees for its Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement.

The quartet will be honored at the WGA awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 17 at L.A. Live.

“These four men, working in loose collaboration, are responsible for writing many, many masterpieces — films that reflect the Japanese culture and have given all of us a taste of the sublime,” said WGA West VP Howard Rodman.

Kurosawa directed over 30 films and wrote or contributed to over 70 titles including “Rashomon,” “Ikiru,” “Seven Samurai,” “Throne of Blood,” “The Hidden Fortress,” “Sanjuro,” “Kagemusha” and “Ran.” He died in 1988 and received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1990.

Kikushima wrote or contributed to over 60 films and collaborated with Kurosawa on films including “Stray Dog,” “Scandal,” “The Last Fortress,” “The Bad Sleep Well,” “Yojimbo,” “High and Low” and “Red Beard.” He died in 1998.

Hashimoto was a frequent collaborator as part of Kurosawa’s creative team and wrote or contributed to 61 films, including “Rashomon,” “Darkness at Noon,” “The Chase,” “Summer Clouds,” “Harakiri” and “The Great White Tower.” Hashimoto, who is 94, will not be attending the ceremonies.

Oguni wrote or contributed to over 100 films during his career, including “Ikiru,” “Throne of Blood,” “The Hidden Fortress,” “The Bad Sleep Well,” “Sanjuro” and “Ran.” He was Kurosawa’s most frequent screenwriting partner from the 1950s through the mid-1980s and died in 1996.

Previous Jean Renoir Award honorees include late Italian screenwriters Suso D’Amico (in 2009) and Tonino Guerra (in 2011).

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