Magazine article Screen International

In Bloom Takes Top Prize at Tokyo Filmex

Magazine article Screen International

In Bloom Takes Top Prize at Tokyo Filmex

Article excerpt

Other winners include Harmony Lessons and Ilo Ilo.

Directors Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross' In Bloom was awarded the grand prize and $6,830 (Y700,000) at the closing awards of the 14th edition of Tokyo Filmex, which ran Nov 23 to Dec 1.

The Georgia-Germany-France co-production is set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi during the early years of the dissolved Soviet Union as two teenaged girls struggle against a backdrop of familial and political strife.

Chairperson of the jury Mohsen Makhmalbaf praised In Bloom for "its talent to portray two strong girls and the energetic recreation of reality in cinema."

The award adds to previous accolades won in Berlin, Hong Kong, AFI Fest and Montreal among other festivals.

The special jury prize and $2,930 (Y300,000) was presented to Kazakhstan writer-director Emir Baigazin for his debut feature Harmony Lessons.

The tough juvenile drama previously won prizes at Berlin, Tribeca and Warsaw. Baigazin is seen as a leading light in the Kazakh new wave.

Special mentions were presented to Thai director Visra Vichit Vadakan's Karaoke Girl and Kohki Yoshida's Tokyo Bitch, I Love You.

Hannah Espia's Transit won the student jury prize.

Joining Makhmalbaf on the jury were Japanese actress Makiko Watanabe, China-based producer Isabelle Glachant, and Japanese producer Hiroko Matsuda.

Taking the audience award was Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo, with Chen in attendance immediately following the film's great success at the Taipei Golden Horse Awards, led by a best picture trophy. …

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