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Tokyo & Rio de Janeiro Winners: Jean Dujardin Spy Comedy + Brazilian Drama

Tokyo Film Festival Awards

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

2006 Tokyo Film Festival: Oct. 21–29.

The 19th Tokyo International Film Festival came to a close this past Sunday, Oct. 29.

The winner of the festival’s top prize, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix (worth US$100,000) was Michel Hazanavicius’ French box office hit and Seattle Film Festival winner OSS 117 Le Caire nid d’espions / OSS 117, Cairo Nest of Spies, a comedy-cum-spy-thriller starring Jean Dujardin as a French-speaking James Bond. In this particular film (there was a whole series of OSS 117 flicks in the 1950s and 1960s), M. Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, a.k.a. OSS 117, gets mixed up with le danger, l’intrigue, and les femmes while trying to uncover a plot to control the Suez Canal.

The Special Jury Prize went to Thirteen Princess Trees, in which Chinese director Lu Yue’s DV-cam depicts the growing pains of a group of young delinquents in a Sichuan high school, while Czech director Milos Forman and Japanese director Kon Ichikawa received the Akira Kurosawa Award for their career achievements.

The Best Actor Award was given to 2005 Prix Jutra nominee Roy Dupuis for his performance as Canadian hockey player Maurice Richard in Maurice Richard / The Rocket. (The film’s English-language title refers to Richard’s nickname.) Ten-year-old Abigail Breslin received the Best Actress Award for playing the ugly duckling who wants to become a catwalk swan in Little Miss Sunshine.

Though hardly either my favorite road movie or my favorite dysfunctional family comedy, Little Miss Sunshine is definitely a crowd pleaser. The film impressed both the festival’s jury (who picked Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris as the Best Directors) and its filmgoers, who gave Little Miss Sunshine the Audience Award.

Patrick Tam’s After This, Our Exile, a drama about a young man’s loss of innocence after being turned into a criminal by his own father, won the Best Asian Film Award in the Winds of Asia sidebar. (“Eastern Winds of Asia” might be a better label for that particular sidebar, as I couldn’t find any West, Central, or South Asian productions listed.)

And finally, Linda Hattendorf’s The Cats of Mirikitani won the Best Film Award in the Japanese Eyes Sidebar. Described as “an intimate documentary exploring the lingering trauma of war and discrimination – and the healing power of friendship and art,” The Cats of Mirikitani revolves around a “friendship” triangle – the filmmaker, her subject (politically engaged 80-year-old homeless artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani), and the filmmaker’s cat – in a global environment filled with paranoia and mutual mistrust.

2006 Tokyo Film Festival: Oct. 21–29.

Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix:
OSS 117 Le Caire nid d’espions / OSS 117, Cairo Nest of Spies by Michel Hazanavicius

Special Jury Prize:
Thirteen Princess Trees by Lu Yue

Award for Best Director:
Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine

Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:
Roy Dupuis for Maurice Richard / The Rocket

Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine

Audience Award: 
Little Miss Sunshine by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

Akira Kurosawa Award:
Milos Forman
Kon Ichikawa

Winds of Asia Sidebar

Best Asian Film:
Fu Zi / After This, Our Exile by Patrick Tam

Award for Best Artistic Contribution: 
Fu Zi / After This, Our Exile by Patrick Tam

Japanese Eyes Sidebar

Best Film:
The Cats of Mirikitani by Linda Hattendorf

Special Award:
Kengo Kora for M

Jury: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (president), Actress Youki Kudoh, producer William M. Mechanic, producer/Venice Film Festival director Marco Müller, director Garin Nugroho, director Mitsuo Yanagimachi

Jeunet replaced Claude Lelouch, who became unavailable because of “a sudden change of shooting schedule for his new project.”

Rio de Janeiro Film Festival winners

I’ve finally added the list of winners at the 2006 edition of the Festival do Rio, the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.

Curiously, the festival may be “international” when it comes to the screened films but it’s definitely “national” when giving out awards. With the exception of a FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Prize for the Best Latin American Film, and an Audience Award for the films shown in the “Generation” sidebar, all other awards are restricted to Brazilian productions. Hopefully, festival organizers will sooner rather than later turn the Festival do Rio into a truly international event by opening up the awards ceremony to non-Brazilians.

This year’s Best (Brazilian) Film winner was Karim Aïnouz’s O Céu de Suely / Suely in the Sky, the story of a woman from the Brazilian Northeast who dreams of a better life elsewhere. O Céu de Suely also won awards for Best Direction and Best Actress (Hermilla Guedes).

Heitor Dhalia’s O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained, about a pawnbroker who must eventually come to terms with both his greed and his “customers,” won both the Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Award.

The Best Actor award was shared between Selton Mello, for his ruthless pawnbroker in O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained, and Sidney Santiago, playing a poor São Paulo denizen who must perform 12 labors – while trying to overcome assorted obstacles and prejudices – in order to land a job in Os 12 Trabalhos / The 12 Labors.

The Audience Award went to Cao Hamburger’s O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias / The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, the tale of a 12-year-old boy who, after his parents “go on vacation” during the years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, finds himself living with his grandfather in one of São Paulo’s ethnic districts.

And finally, Arne Lindtner Næss’ Venner for livet / Finding Friends received the “Generation” sidebar award. Venner for livet follows a 12-year-old city boy who finds a new life in the Norwegian countryside.

The festival was held between Sept. 21–Oct. 6.

The winners were announced on Oct. 6, 2006.

Première Brasil Sidebar

Best Feature Film: O Céu de Suely / Suely in the Sky, by Karim Aïnouz

Special Jury Prize: O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained, by Heitor Dhalia

Best Feature Documentary: À margem do Concreto / At the Margin of Concrete, by Evaldo Mocarzel

Best Direction: Karim Aïnouz (O Céu de Suely / Suely in the Sky)

Best Actor (tie): Selton Mello (O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained) and Sidney Santiago (Os 12 Trabalhos / The 12 Labors)

Best Actress: Hermilla Guedes (O Céu de Suely / Suely in the Sky)

Best Short: Joyce, by Caroline Leone

Audience Awards:

Best Feature Film: O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias / The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, by Cao Hamburger

Best Feature Documentary: Fabricando Tom Zé / Manufacting Tom Zé, by Décio Matos Júnior

Best Short: Mauro Shampoo, by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle and Leonardo Cunha

FIPRESCI (International Film Critics’) Award for the Best Latin American Film: O Cheiro do Ralo / Drained, by Heitor Dhalia

ABD&C (Rio Chapter of the Brazilian Association of Shorts and Documentaries) Awards

Best Short: Mauro Shampoo, by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle and Leonardo Cunha

Best Documentary: Acidente / Accident, by Cao Guimarães and Pablo Lobato

Honorable Mention: Caparaó, by Flávio Frederico

Special Mention: Onde a Coruja Dorme / Where the Owl Sleeps, by Simplécio Neto and Márcia Derraik

Generation Sidebar – Audience Award: Venner for livet / Finding Friends / Fazendo amigos, by Arne Lindtner Næss

Première Brasil Jury: director Nélson Pereira dos Santos (president), actress Christiane Torloni, director Marcelo Piñero, producer Renata Magalhães, Cannes Festival organizer Christian Jeune

Gotham Awards

The Independent Feature Project’s 2006 Gotham Film Award nominees were announced this past Monday, Oct. 23. Among the films found in the Best Feature shortlist are three major surprises, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, (distributed by Warner Bros.), Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (distributed by Sony Pictures), and Todd Field’s Little Children (distributed by New Line Cinema). Since the IFP’s Gotham Awards are supposed to be dedicated to the promotion of independent American films, the above choices seem more than a little out of place.

More in line with the awards’ purpose are Ryan Fleck’s socio-psychological drama Half Nelson, which boasts a superb performance by (non-nominee) Ryan Gosling, and Kelly Reichardt’s Zen-like Old Joy (which cost about 1/1,000,000th of the Departed budget.)

(There’s no Best Director category. The director shares the Best Feature award with the producer. Curiously, there’s no Best Screenplay award – and no one shares any awards with the poor screenwriter unless s/he also happens to be the film’s director and/or producer.)

Among the five documentary entries are James Longley’s Iraq in Fragments, Davis Guggenheim’s environmentally conscious An Inconvenient Truth, and Amy Berg’s Deliver Us from Evil, about the Catholic church’s cover-up of cases of pedophilia.

Australian Film Festival Awards

Monty Lapica’s U.S.-made Self-Medicated, which has been winning assorted awards at various independent film festivals, was chosen Best Feature Film at the Australian International Film Festival, held in Melbourne this past October. The film also won the Best Actress award for Diane Venora, as the substance-abusing mother of a substance-abusing young man (Lapica).

In addition to Self-Medicated, a number of other American productions — including Terri Farley-Teruel’s Beautiful Dreamer (Best International Film), a tale of war, romance, and amnesia (that sounds quite a bit like the 1942 classic Random Harvest), and John Daniel Gavin’s underworld drama Johnny Montana (Best Debut Feature) — dominated the list of winners.

The Best Australian Film was Kieran Galvin’s self-described “dark love story” Puppy, about a pathological liar (Nadia Townsend) who hooks up with a delusional tow-truck driver (Bernard Curry) who is sure she is his runaway wife.

Paddy Considine was chosen Best Actor for keeping an eye on drug-addicted Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones (Leo Gregory) in Stephen Woolley’s British drama Stoned.

2006 Australian Film Festival: Oct. 21-30.

The Golden Spotlight Award is given to the Best Feature Film and Best Short Film. The Silver Spotlight Award is given to winners in the other core categories.

Best Feature Film: Self-Medicated (US) Monty Lapica

Best Australian Film: Puppy (Australia) Kieran Galvin

Best International Film: Beautiful Dreamer (US) Terri Farley-Teruel

Best Debut Feature: Johnny Montana (US) John Daniel Gavin

Best Director: Jaume Balagueró for Fragile (Spain)

Best Actor: Paddy Considine for Stoned (UK) Stephen Woolley

Best Actress: Diane Venora for Self-Medicated (US) Monty Lapica

Best Cinematography: Nic Sadler for Intellectual Property (US) Nick peterson

Best Editing: Rick Ray for 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (US) Rick Ray

Best Short Film: Le génie de la boîte de raviolis / The Genie of the Ravioli Box (Switzerland) Claude Barras

Special Citations:

Best Drama (Feature): Comfort the Disturbed, Disturb the Comforted (UK) Arran de Moubray

Best Documentary: Future by Design (US) William Gazecki

Best Animation: First Flight (US) Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson

Audience Award: Jesus Can’t Skate (Australia) Jayson Sutcliffe

Best Multicultural Film: Silma’s School (Australia) Jane Jeffes

Most Innovative Film: Start Up (US) Claire Armstrong Parod and Joel Parod (Animation Directors); Andrew Douglas (Live Action Director)

Best Ensemble Direction: No Limit: A Search for the American Dream on the Poker Tournament Trail (US) Timothy Rhys and Brian O’Hare

Human Rights Award: Binta y la gran idea / Binta and the Great Idea (Spain) Javier Fesser

Best Commercial Marketability: The Virgin of Juarez (US) Kevin James Dobson

Most Likely to Succeed: Staten Island (India) Aditya Chandora

Best Overseas Market: Space Chase (UK) Daniel Duncan and Jonathan Pearson

Best Student Film: Deck Heads (Australia) Andrew Faulks

New Media Awards:

Best Memory Chip Submitted Work: End of Level (Sweden) Victor Blanke

Best Flash Animation: The Wagalak Sisters (Australia) Dave Jones Award – Best Use of New Media: Missing Pages (amended version) (Japan) Jerome Olivier

35mm Transfer Award: Performer (UK) Olaf Wendt

RomeFilmFest winners

Kirill Serebrennikov’s Izobrajaya Zhertvy / Playing the Victim, a modernized and darkly humorous adaptation of Hamlet starring Yuri Chursin and Anna Mikhalkova (Nikita Mikhalkov’s daughter and Andrei Konchalovsky’s niece), won the Best Film Award at the 1st edition of the RomeFilmFest this past Saturday, Oct. 21. “This film is a film for Russia and for Russians,” Serebrennikov declared. “Because we still believe that cinema can change people’s way of thinking and consciences.”

The Special Jury Prize winner was This is England, Shane Meadows’s semi-autobiographical tale of an English teenager who joins a skinhead group in the 1980s.

The festival’s other official prizes went to Italian stage performer Giorgio Colangeli, chosen Best Actor for playing a convict who after many years meets his now adult son in Alessandro Angelini’s L´ aria salata; Best Actress Ariane Ascaride as a woman looking for her father in Robert Guédiguian’s Le Voyage en Arménie / Armenia (which Ascaride co-wrote); and the recently deceased director Gillo Pontecorvo, who received a posthumous career award.

According to the festival’s website, 169 films from 32 countries were screened at the RomeFilmFest and 56,000 tickets were sold.

The 1st Rome Film Festival ran from Oct. 13-21, 2006.

The 1st Rome Film Festival awards were announced on Oct. 21, 2006.
Popular Jury Awards:

Best Film Award: Izobrajaya Zhertvy / Playing the Victim by Kirill Serebrennikov

Special Jury Prize: This Is England by Shane Meadows

Best Actor Award: Giorgio Colangeli in L’Aria salata by Alessandro Angelini

Best Actress Award: Ariane Ascaride in Le Voyage en Arménie / Armenia by Robert Guédiguian

Special Award: Gillo Pontecorvo

Cult Award for Best Documentary: Deep Water by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell

L.A.R.A. (Libera Associazione Rappresentanti Artisti) Award for Best Italian Performer: Ninetto Davoli in Uno su due by Eugenio Cappuccio

Blockbuster Award for the “Première” Sidebar: La Sconosciuta / The Unknown by Giuseppe Tornatore

“Alice Nella Città” (Alice in the City) Sidebar: Liscio by Claudio Antonini and Just Like the Son by Morgan J. Freeman

The Popular Jury was made up of 50 members. Ettore Scola acted as president.

The Cult Award Jury: Sherin Salvetti (President), Saverio Costanzo, Paulo Morelli, Antonio Dipollina and Marco Visalberghi

L.A.R.A. Jury president: Carol Levi

Blockbuster Award chosen by Blockbuster film renters presided over by Giovanni Veronesi

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