Ishikawa Kei’s drama “A Man” took eight prizes at the 46th Japan Academy Film Prize ceremony, held on Friday at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takawana in Tokyo. The film, premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section, had been nominated for 13 awards in 12 categories.
In addition to the best picture award, Ishikawa won best director, while the film’s writer Mukai Kosuke won best screenplay, and its star Tsumabuchi Satoshi won best actor. In “A Man,” Satoshi plays an ethnically Korean lawyer who goes on a search for the truth about a man, killed in an accident, who was living under false identity.
Best supporting actor went to Kubota Masataka for his portrayal of the mystery man, while Ando Sakura took best supporting actress her performance as his wife. The film also won best sound recording and best editing honors.
In his speech on receiving the best director award, Ishikawa said, “I really feel that this prize is like a baton passed down to me by senior directors who have made so many great Japanese movies. And this is a baton that I myself will pass on.”
Kishii Yukino took best actress honors for her portrayal of a deaf boxer in Miyake Sho’s “Small, Slow but Steady.”
“The First Slam Dunk,” which is based on a long-running baseball comic, was named best animation. The film has also achieved a slam dunk at the Japanese box office, earning $85 million since its Dec. 3, 2022 release.
“Top Gun: Maverick” was named best foreign film.
The Japan Academy Prizes, which have been awarded annually since 1978, are modeled after the U.S. Academy Awards. The nominees are selected by industry professionals, including employees at major film companies, historically leading to a preponderance of nominations going to commercially successful films, rather than critically acclaimed indies.