The Tokyo Filmex festival concluded its 2018 edition by giving its grand prize to Sergey Dvortsevoy’s “Ayka.” This was the first edition of the festival under the control of property to entertainment group, Kinoshita.
“Ayka” debuted in competition in Cannes earlier this year. It is a drama about an immigrant woman struggling to survive against overwhelming odds in Moscow.
“Jinpa,” a brooding and mysterious Tibetan road movie, directed by Pema Tseden, collected the second-place grand jury prize. The film had its premiere in Venice, where it won the best screenplay award. Japanese mystery, “His Lost Name,” directed by Hirose Nanako earned a special mention.
In parallel to the juried prizes, the festival presented other awards. The audience award went to “Complicity,” by Chikaura Kei. A student jury awarded its prize to Chinese director Bi Gan’s “A long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which had made its first appearance in Un Certain regard in Cannes.
Festival organizers said that they played a total of 40 films, including 7 shorts. They reported a 26% increase in audience numbers this year, climbing to 13,700.
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Kinoshita came to the rescue of the festival earlier this year, after Filmex lost Office Kitano as its principal supporter following the corporate restructuring of Kitano. Kinoshita, which owns nursing homes and retail properties, has entertainment interests including distributor Kino Films and the Dongyu Club talent agency.