Indonesia’s ‘The Seen and Unseen,’ ‘Marlina’ Share Tokyo FILMeX Grand Prize

Two films that play this week at the Singapore International Film Festival, Kamila Andini ‘s “The Seen and Unseen,” and Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” split the Grand Prize at Tokyo FILMeX.

FILMeX unspooled at venues in Tokyo Nov. 18-26 and gave its prizes on Saturday.

Both winning directors are Indonesian women whose films have traveled the international festival circuit. “Seen,” a drama that enters a child’s dream world, has played at Vancouver, Toronto and Busan, while “Marlina” debuted in this year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

The FILMeX audience award went to “Sennan Asbestos Disaster,” veteran documentarian Kazuo Hara’s film about a lawsuit filed by victims of asbestos poisoning in Osaka. Eight years in the making, the 215-minute film earlier played at the Yamagata documentary festival in October. Hara also served as Filmex jury chairman, a fact he jokingly alluded to in accepting the award.

In addition to its competition section this year’s FILMeX presented a retrospective dedicated to Jacques Tourneur. Among its special screenings was a feature version of “Tokyo Vampire Hotel,” cult favorite Sion Sono’s Amazon Prime series, about two vampire families battling for supremacy in a post-apocalyptic world.

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