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Ryuichi Sakamoto, Genius Composer, Named Asian Filmmaker of the Year by Busan

Enduringly brilliant music composer Ryuichi Sakamoto has been named Asian Filmmaker of the year by the Busan International Film Festival. He won an Oscar for best original score for Bernardo Bertolucci‘s “The Last Emperor” in 1986.

He will receive his prize in October during the Busan festival’s opening ceremony. He will also perform and provide the score.

The festival hailed Sakamoto for his “sheer amount of time, effort, and passion.” It described him as “deeply admired and loved by the public as an artist who remains a prominent musician in the history of world cinema.”

Over a career spanning 40 years, Sakamoto has ranged from pioneering electronic music through to rock, opera and classical genres. His first music for film was for Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” in 1983. He picked up Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for “The Sheltering Sky” in 1990 and repeated the feat for “Little Buddha” in 1993. Other prominent credits include Pedro Almodovar’s “High Heels” and Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain.”

Sakamoto was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, but beat the disease and has bounced back with music scores for “The Revenant,” “The Fortress” and upcoming animation film “My TYRANO: Together Forever.”

The prize is one of the most significant awards in Asian cinema. Previous recipients have included Andy Lau, Ann Hui, Studio Ghibli, Rithy Panh and Abbas Kiarostami.

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