Locarno: Fest Fetes Office Kitano

Masayuki Mori, Office Kitano's president, and producer Shozo Ichiyama will receive the award

Takeshi Kitano
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
The 68th Locarno Film Festival will honor Japan’s Office Kitano shingle with the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico. Created in 2002, plaudit pays tribute to outstanding players working in the independent arena.
Iconic director Japanese Takeshi Kitano has helmed not just some of the most revered movies in modern Japanese cinema but established strategic alliances to boost and internationalize modern genre cinema from all the region.
Established as a cinema agency in 1988, Office Kitano initial purpose was to manage the TV activities of Takeshi Kitano and a group of comic actors. Three years later, the company initiated production with helmer/actor Kitano’s third feature, romance “A Scene at the Sea.” Since then, all Kitano’s works have been produced byt Office Kitano. However, the shingle has also supported other Japanese directors such as Hiroshi Shimizu (“Chicken Heart”) Takashi Miike (“Izo”), Makoto Shinozaki’ (“Asakusa Kid”)  and China’s Jia Zhang-ke (“Platform,” “Unknown Pleasures”).
With Shozo Ichiyama, Office Kitano co-produced Iranian Abolfazl Jalili’s “Delbaran,” awarded with a Locarno special jury prize in 2001. Office Kitano has expanded activities to distribution and launched in 2000 Tokyo FILMeX, a fest devoted to arthouse production.Masayuki Mori, Office Kitano’s president, and the producer Shozo Ichiyama, have confirmed attendance at Locarno to receive the award.Three films will be screened at Locarno to mark this tribute: Takeshi Kitano’s “Hana-bi” and “Dolls” and Jia Zhangke’s “Unknown Pleasures.”

Raimondo Rezzonico served as the Locarno Festival chairman for twenty years. This year’s 68th edition runs Aug. 5-15.