The Japan Academy Prize, Japan’s equivalent of the Oscars awarded by the Nippon Academy-sho Association of industry professionals, has announced the winners for its 44th edition which honours films released between Dec. 16, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020. The much lauded Fukushima 50 misses out on the big prize but gets Director, Supporting Actor, and a host of technical awards while Eiji Uchida’s Midnight Swan takes Picture of the Year and Actor, and Masami Nagasawa picks up the Best Actress award not for reprising her role in Confidence Man JP but for Tatsushi Omori’s grim maternal drama, Mother.

Picture of the Year

Animation of the Year

  • Violet Evergarden: The Movie 
  • Poupelle of Chimney Town
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train
  • Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
  • Stand by Me Doraemon 2

Director of the Year

  • Eiji Uchida (Midnight Swan)
  • Naomi Kawase (True Mothers)
  • Nobuhiro Doi (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ryota Nakano (The Asadas)
  • Setsuro Wakamatsu (Fukushima 50)

Screenplay of the Year

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Shun Oguri (The Voice of Sin)
  • Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (Midnight Swan)
  • Koichi Sato (Fukushima 50)
  • Masaki Suda (Ito)
  • Kazunari Ninomiya (The Asadas)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Shohei Uno (The Voice of Sin)
  • Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Asadas)
  • Ryo Narita (The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese)
  • Gen Hoshino (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ken Watanabe (Fukushima 50)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Achievement in Music

  • Taro Iwashiro (Fukushima 50)
  • Yuki Kajiura & Go Shiina (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train)
  • Seiji Kameda (Ito)
  • Naoki Sato (The Voice of Sin)
  • Junnosuke Yamamoto (Tora-san, Wish You Were Here)

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

  • Toshihiro Isomi & Emiko Tsuyuki (The Voice of Sin)
  • Tomoko Kurata & Shoko Yoshizawa (Tora-san, Wish You Were Here)
  • Michitoshi Kurokawa (The Asadas)
  • Yukiharu Seshimo (Fukushima 50)
  • Hiroyuki Agatsuma (Midnight Swan)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording

Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing

Outstanding Foreign Language Film

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX)
  • Parasite
  • Ford v Ferrari (Le Mans ’66)
  • 1917
  • Tenet

Newcomer of the Year 

  • Misaki Hattori (Midnight Swan)
  • Aju Makita (True Mothers)
  • Nana Mori (Last Letter)
  • Kenshi Okada (Hope; The Legacy of Dr. Death: Black File; I Have Loved you for 30 Years, Yayoi) 
  • Daiken Okudaira (Mother)
  • Ren Nagase (Yowamushi Pedal)

Special Award from the Association

(Lifetime achievement awards, technical fields)

  • Matsuo Ikehata (scenic artist)
  • Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (animator and character designer)
  • Kikuo Notomi (gun effects)

Award for Distinguished Service from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement awards, creatives)

  • Makiko Ishihara (former actress known as Mie Kitahara prior to her retirement on her marriage to frequent co-star Yujiro Ishihara, and until recently head of Ishihara International Productions, Inc. talent agency)
  • Akiko Koyama (actress)
  • Tatsuo Suzuki (cinematographer)
  • Yonezo Maeda (cinematographer)
  • Kazuko Yoshiyuki (actress)

Special Award from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement award presented to members of the film industry who passed away during 2020)

  • Jo Shishido (actor)
  • Nobuhiko Obayashi (director)
  • Tetsuya Watari (actor)

Award of Honour from the Association

(Lifetime achievement award for members of the film industry who received a national honour or made a great contribution to the development of the Association)

  • Yusuke Okada (chairman of Toei who passed away on Nov. 18 at the age of 71)

Popularity Awards

(Decided via an All Night Nippon listener poll)

Movie: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train

Actor: Shun Oguri (The Voice of Sin)

Source: Japan Academy Prize official websiteEiga Natalie

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