‘Vera Dreams of the Sea’ Wins Tokyo Film Festival Grand Prix

Vera Dreams of the Sea
Courtesy of Heretic

Vera Dreams of the Sea,” Kaltrina Krasniqi’s semi-autobiographical drama about a sign-language interpreter who battles for her rights in an inheritance dispute, was awarded the Tokyo Grand Prix at the closing ceremony of the 34nd Tokyo International Film Festival on Monday. The prize is worth $30,000.

Set in Krasniqi’s native Kosovo and based on the real-life experiences of her mother, the film previously screened in Venice’s Orrizonti section.

A female-led story also claimed the second place Special Jury Prize. “La Civil,” by Romanian director Teodora Ana Mihai, is a drama about a woman who goes hunting for a daughter kidnapped by a Mexican cartel.

In the Asian Future section for films by up-and-coming Asian directors, the best film award went to “World, Northern Hemisphere,” Iranian director Hossein Tehrani’s drama about a 14-yar-old boy who supports his family following his father’s death.

The closing ceremony also saw the award of two new prizes, given in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video.

Festival screenings were all held this year as in-person events. Held this year from Oct. 30 to Nov. 8, TIFF recorded 29,414  admissions to 126 films, sharply down from last year when the 138 films screened garnered 40,553 admissions.

Tokyo International Film Festival: 2021 Prize Winners

Grand Prix

“Vera Dreams of the Sea”

Special Jury Prize

“La Civil”

Special Mention

“Just Remembering”

Best Director

Darezhan Omirbaev for “Poet”

Best Actress

Julia Chavez in “The Other Tom”

Best Actor

Amir Aghaee, Fatih Al, Baris Yildiz, Onur Buldu in “The Four Walls”

Best Artistic Contribution

“Crane Lantern”

Audience Award

“Just Remembering”

Asian Future, Best Film Award

“World Northern Hemisphere”

Amazon Prime Video Take One Award

Kim Yunsoo for “Sunday and Calm Sea”

Amazon Prime Video Take One Award Special Jury Prize

Sangoumi Midori for “Under The Bridge”.