‘Nuan’ wins Tokyo kudos

Chinese meller takes Grand Prix, actor awards

TOKYO — The 16th Tokyo Intl. Film Festival wrapped on Sunday, awarding the $91,000 Tokyo Grand Prix to Huo Jianqi’s “Nuan” (Warmth), an unchallenging competition entry from China, starring Japan’s Teruyuki Kagawa, who won the actor award.

“Nuan,” a sumptuously filmed but predictable meller set in rural China, was one of the more exciting entries in a uninspiring lineup of 15 films from 363 submitted to TIFF from 51 countries. Huo remains the darling director of China’s film bureaucracy.

Russian helmer Bakhtiyar Khudoinazarov’s “The Suit” secured the special jury prize and the award for the best artistic contribution. Pic tells the story of three impoverished teenagers stuck in a small town near the Black Sea who set out to buy a Gucci suit.

Local critics agreed that the lineup in the Winds of Asia sidebar was more satisfying, and Korea’s masterful crime suspense entry “Memories of Murder” won the Asian Film Award of $9,100. Pic, based on an unsolved serial killing incident in a rural town during Korea’s years under military dictatorship in the 1980s, was a surprise box office hit in its home territory.

TIFF closed with a gala screening of “Finding Nemo.”

And the winners are…

Tokyo Grand Prix
The Governor of Tokyo Award: “Nuan,” directed by Huo Jianqi, China

Special Jury Prize
“The Suit,” directed by Bakhtiyar Khudoinazarov, Russia

Director Award – The Governor of Tokyo Award
“Santa Smokes,” directed by Chris Valentien and Till Terror (a.k.a Schauder), U.S./Germany

Khristy Jean Hulslander (“Santa Smokes”), Shinobu Terajima (“Vibrator”) Japan

Teruyuki Kagawa (“Nuan”)

Artistic Contribution Award
“The Suit,” directed by Bakhtiyar Khudoinazarov

Asian Film Award
“Memories of Murder,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, Korea

Special Mention
“Jealousy is My Middle Name,” directed by Park Chanok, Korea, and “Gone is the One Who Held Me Dearest in the World,” directed by Ma Xiao Ying, China