“The Band’s Visit,” Eran Kolirin’s pic about Egyptian police lost in Israel, won the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix at the 29th Tokyo Film Festival on Sunday. Top nod in the fest’s competition section comes with a cash prize of $50,000.
The film was produced by July August Prods.
Scooping the special jury prize was “The Western Trunk Line,” a Japan-Chinese co-production helmed by Li Jixian about two brothers in a remote Chinese town who fall for the same woman. Tokyo-based Gold View is repping the pic worldwide.
The actress prize went to Shefali Shah for her perf in the Indian family drama “Gandhi My Father, while the actor nod was awarded to Damian Ul, the young star of the Polish childhood drama “Tricks.” Salvatore Maira’s “The Waltz” danced off with the artistic contribution kudos, and Armin Voelcker’s “Leroy” charmed its way to the aud nod.
Among other winners were “Singapore Dreaming,” which grabbed the Asian-Middle Eastern film award, and “Dancing Bell,” which received a special mention, both in the Winds of Asia-Middle East section.
Also, indie vet Koji Wakamatsu’s “United Red Army” drew the picture nod and Toshyuki Moriyuki’s debut feature “Tears of the Kitty,” the special award in the Japanese Eyes section.
David Puttnam, as announced before the fest, went home with the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement.
Tokyo Festival also revealed figures for the event, which opened Oct. 20 and closed Sunday, including total admissions (68,705 for 326 screenings) and total visitors to the Tiffcom market.
Although fest chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa has said he is stepping down after this year’s edition, his fifth in that post, he did not announce a successor in his remarks at the closing ceremony and reception. Tokyo fest sources, however, have told Daily Variety that Gaga Communications chairman Tom Yoda will take over.