Japan Academy Film Prize Announces Nominees for 46th Edition

©2022 "A MAN" FILM PARTNERS
©2022 "A MAN" FILM PARTNERS

The Japan Academy Film Prize, Japan’s equivalent of the Oscars awarded by the Nippon Academy-Sho Association of industry professionals, has announced the candidate list for its 46th edition which honours films released Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022 that played in a Tokyo cinema at least three times a day for more than two weeks. This year’s favourite is Kei Ishikawa’s A Man which picks up 13 nominations across 12 categories, while there is also a strong showing for Ryuichi Hiroki’s Phases of the Moon and big budget tokusatsu Shin Ultraman. The awards ceremony hosted by last year’s Best Actress winner Kasumi Arimura and TV presenter Shinichi Hatori will take place at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa International Convention Center Pamir on 10th March.

Picture of the Year

  • A Man
  • Shin Ultraman
  • Phases of the Moon
  • Anime Supremacy!
  • Wandering

Animation of the Year

  • Inu-Oh
  • Lonely Castle in the Mirror
  • Suzume
  • One Piece Film Red
  • The First Slam Dunk

Director of the Year

Screenplay of the Year

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Sadao Abe (Lesson in Murder)
  • Yo Oizumi (Phases of the Moon)
  • Satoshi Tsumabuki (A Man)
  • Kazunari Ninomiya (Fragments of the Last Will)
  • Tori Matsuzaka (Wandering)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Tasuku Emoto (Anime Supremacy!)
  • Masataka Kubota (A Man)
  • Kentaro Sakaguchi (Hell Dogs)
  • Ren Meguro (Phases of the Moon)
  • Ryusei Yokohama (Wandering)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Kasumi Arimura (Phases of the Moon)
  • Sakura Ando (A Man)
  • Machiko Ono (Anime Supremacy!)
  • Nana Seino (A Man, Kingdom 2: To Distant Lands)
  • Mei Nagano (Motherhood)
  • Honoka Matsumoto (It’s in the Woods)

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction

Outstanding Achievement in Music

  • Yoshihiro Ike (Anime Supremacy!)
  • Yu Takami (Whisper of the Heart)
  • Cicada (A Man)
  • Mari Fukushige (Phases of the Moon)
  • Radwimps / Kazuma Jinnouchi (Suzume)

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

  • Toshihiro Isomi / Emiko Tsuyuki (Fragments of the Last Will)
  • Hidetaka Ozawa (Kingdom 2: To Distant Lands)
  • Satoshi Kanda (Anime Supremacy!)
  • Yuji Hayashida / Eri Sakushima (Shin Ultraman)
  • Hiroyuki Wagatsuma (A Man)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording

Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing

Outstanding Foreign Language Film

  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Coda
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • RRR

Newcomer of the Year 

  • Karin Ono (Anime Supremacy!)
  • Hinako Kikuchi (Phases of the Moon)
  • Riko Fukumoto (Even if This Love Disappears from the World Tonight)
  • Meru Nukumi (My Boyfriend in Orange)
  • Daiki Arioka (Shin Ultraman)
  • Ichiro Banka (Sabakan)
  • Hokuto Matsumura (xxxHOLiC)
  • Ren Meguro (Phases of the Moon)

Special Award from the Association

(Lifetime achievement awards)

  • Masanobu Amemiya (car stunts)
  • Shohei Kawamoto (animation background art)
  • Naomi Koike (production design)
  • Yasuhiro Fukuoka (casting producer)

Award for Distinguished Service from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement awards for contribution to the film industry)

  • Shunya Ito (film director)
  • Yuzo Kayama (actor)
  • Hideki Mochizuki (lighting)

Special Award from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement award presented to members of the film industry who passed away during 2022)

  • Hideo Onchi (film director)
  • Hiro Matsuda (screenwriter)
  • Mitsunobu Kawamura (producer)
  • Iwao Ishii (editor)
  • Kazuki Omori (director & screenwriter)
  • Yoichi Sai (director & screenwriter)

Special Award

  • One Piece Film Red music crew

Source: Japan Academy Film Prize official websiteEiga Natalie

Blue Ribbon Awards Announces Nominations for 65th Edition

©2022 "A MAN" FILM PARTNERS
©2022 "A MAN" FILM PARTNERS

Presented by the Association of Tokyo Film Journalists, the Blue Ribbon Awards has announced its nominations for the 65th edition honouring films released in 2022. This year’s favourite is Kei Ishikawa’s A Man which picks up six nominations, while there is also a strong showing for Ryuichi Hiroki’s Motherhood and mystery drama Missing. Like last year, the physical awards ceremony has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic though the winners are expected to be announced in late February.

Best Film 

  • ©2022 "A MAN" FILM PARTNERS
  • A Man – latest drama from Kei Ishikawa starring Satoshi Tsumabuki as a lawyer who is drawn into a mystery while investigating a former client’s deceased husband.
  • Kingdom 2: To Distant Lands – sequel to the popular blockbuster set in Warring States-era China.
  • Small, Slow But Steady – An aspiring boxer begins to lose the will to fight in Sho Miyake’s empathetic character study. Review.
  • Missing – a young woman finds herself in the crosshairs of a serial killer while looking for her missing father in Shinzo Katayama’s dark mystery drama. Review.
  • Silent Parade – long-awaited latest instalment in the Galileo franchise starring Masaharu Fukuyama.
  • Dr. Coto’s Clinic – sequel to the TV drama from the 2000s revolving around a doctor on a small island.
  • Plan 75 – an elderly woman finds herself pushed towards voluntary euthanasia by a society driven only by productivity in Chie Hayakawa’s dark dystopian drama. Review.
  • Motherhood – drama from Ryuichi Hiroki revolving around the suicide of a teenage girl.
  • Fragments of the Last Will – wartime drama from Takahisa Zeze in which a soldier longs to return home to his wife.
  • Wandering – drama from Lee Sang-il in which a student takes in a neglected little girl only to be accused of kidnapping.

Best Director

  • Kei Ishikawa (A Man)
  • Shinzo Katayama (Missing)
  • Takahisa Zeze (Tombi: Father and Son, Fragments of the Last Will)
  • Chie Hayakawa (Plan 75)
  • Ryuichi Hiroki (2 Women, Motherhood, Phases of the Moon)

Best Actor

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  • Sadao Abe (Lesson in Murder, I am Makimoto)
  • Jiro Sato (Missing)
  • Satoshi Tsumabuki (A Man)
  • Kazunari Ninomiya (Tang, Fragments of the Last Will)
  • Masaharu Fukuyama (Silent Parade)

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sakura Ando (A Man, Korosuna)
  • Machiko Ono (Anime Supremacy!, Soul At Twenty, Sabakan, Thousand and One Nights)
  • Nana Seino (Kingdom 2: To Distant Lands, Offbeat Cops, A Man)
  • Atsuko Takahata (Motherhood)
  • Ryoko Hirosue  (The Hound of the Baskervilles: Sherlock the Movie, 2 Women)

Best Newcomer

Best Foreign Film

  • Avatar: The Way of Water 
  • West Side Story
  • Cry Macho
  • Coda
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • King Richard
  • Blue Bayou
  • Broker
  • Belfast
  • Lamb

Sources: Eiga NatalieSports Hochi

Kinema Junpo Announces 2021 95th Best 10

©︎2021 "A Madder Red" Film Partners

Prestigious cinema magazine Kinema Junpo has released its always anticipated “Best 10” list for films released in 2021, the 95th edition. Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car largely sweeps the board taking not only the top spot but several of the individual awards including director, screenplay, and supporting actress while Yuya Ishii’s pandemic-era drama A Madder Red comes in second with an acting nod for Machiko Ono.

Best 10

1. Drive My Car (ドライブ・マイ・カー, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

A theatre director reeling from the death of his wife finds an unexpected connection with a reserved young woman hired to drive his car in Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s deeply moving adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami.

2. A Madder Red (茜色に焼かれる, Yuya Ishii)

Set during the pandemic, Yuya Ishii’s latest stars Machiko Ono as a widowed single mother whose husband was killed in a traffic accident caused by an elite bureaucrat who refuses to apologise. Forced to close her cafe, she works part-time at a garden centre and supplements her income through sex work but struggles to make ends meet while falling in love with an old classmate who predictably turns out to be not quite all he seems.

3. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (偶然と想像, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

The second film Hamaguchi released this year is a delightfully Rohmer-esque triptych of tales inspired by serendipitous encounters and a healthy dose of romantic fantasy that lead each of its wounded souls towards a kind of liberation.

4. Under the Open Sky (すばらしき世界, Miwa Nishikawa)

Inspired by Ryuzo Saki’s 1993 novel, Miwa Nishikawa’s melancholy social drama stars Koji Yakusho as a purehearted man of violence who struggles to adapt himself to the hypocrisies of the contemporary society after spending the majority of his adult life in prison.

5. Minamata Mandala (水俣曼荼羅, Kazuo Hara)

15 years in the making, Kazuo Hara’s epic documentary charts the fight for justice among those affected by the Minamata Disease caused by industrial pollution in the 1960s many of whom find themselves battling an intransigent state that refuses to recognise their suffering.

6. Aristocrats (あのこは貴族, Yukiko Sode)

Mugi Kadowaki and Kiko Mizuhara star as two young women from opposite ends of the class spectrum involved with the same man (Kengo Kora) who is himself a prisoner of outdated feudalistic social codes in Yukiko Sode’s empathetic social drama.

7. Intolerance (空白, Keisuke Yoshida)

Keisuke Yoshida’s intense drama stars Arata Furuta as a bullying father of a teenage girl killed in a traffic accident trying to run away from a store clerk (Tori Matsuzaka) who caught her shoplifting. Refusing to believe his daughter could have been guilty of the theft, the father turns his ire towards the store owner who is consumed with remorse while unfairly victimised by an unforgiving media.

8. A Balance (由宇子の天秤, Yujiro Harumoto)

A TV documentarian’s journalistic integrity is strained when a student at her father’s cram school claims that he is the father of her child in Yujiro Harumoto’s emotionally complex social drama.

9. Ito (いとみち, Satoko Yokohama)

The latest quirky dramedy from Satoko Yokohama is set in her native Aomori and follows a shy young woman who gradually learns to accept herself and her past trauma while working in a maid cafe and perfecting the art of Tsugaru shamisen.

10. We Made a Beautiful Bouquet (花束みたいな恋をした, Nobuhiro Doi)

Romantic drama from Nobuhiro Doi starring Masaki Suda and Kasumi Arimura as a young couple who meet after missing the last train home and later fall in love only for their innocent romance to gradually fall apart over the following five years.

Best 10 International

  1. Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
  2. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)
  3. Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
  4. American Utopia (Spike Lee)
  5. The Father (Florian Zeller)
  6. Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright)
  7. Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (Gu Xiaogang)
  8. The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)
  9. Minamata (Andrew Levitas)
  10. Better Days (Derek Tsang Kwok-cheung)

Best 10 Documentaries

1. Minamata Mandala (Kazuo Hara)

2. Lamafa (Bon Ishikawa)

3. Now Is the Past – My Father, Java & the Phantom Films (Shinichi Ise)

3. Ceramic Road (Shohei Shibata)

5. Sanma Democracy (Magoari Yamazato)

6. Asu wo Heguru (Tomoki Imai)

7. Tokyo Kurds (Fumiari Hyuga)

7. Tokyo Jitensha Bushi (Taku Aoyagi)

9. Owari no Mienai Tatakai: Shingata Coronavirus Kansensho to Hokenjo (Nobue Miyazaki)

10. Whiplash of the Dead (Haruhiko Daishima)

10. Green Jail (Huang Yin-Yu)

Individual Awards

Best Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car / Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy)

Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car)

Best Director (international): Chloé Zhao (Nomadland / Eternals)

Best Actress: Machiko Ono (A Madder Red / A Family)

Best Actor: Koji Yakusho (Under the Open Sky)

Best Supporting Actress: Toko Miura (Drive My Car / Spaghetti Code Love)

Best Supporting Actor: Ryohei Suzuki (Last of the Wolves / Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai / Mole Song Final)

Best Newcomer (actress): Yumi Kawai (A Balance / It’s a Summer Film! / Unfeigned Happy Ending)

Best Newcomer (actor): Iori Wada (A Madder Red)

Readers’ Choice Best Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)

Readers’ Choice Best Director (international): Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Readers’ Choice Award: Shiraku Tatekawa (Tatekawa Shiraku no Cinema Tsurezuregusa)

Special Award: Tadao Sato (Critic)

Source: Kinema Junpo official website.

Blue Ribbon Awards Announces Nominations for 64th Edition

©︎2021 "A Madder Red" Film Partners
©︎2021 “A Madder Red” Film Partners

Presented by the Association of Tokyo Film Journalists, the Blue Ribbon Awards has announced its nominations for the 64th edition honouring films released in 2021. Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s international festival hit Drive My Car picks up five nominations as does Michihito Fujii’s A Family with both Hayato Isomura and Hiroshi Tachi nominated in the supporting actor category, while Yuya Ishii’s A Madder Red and Kazuya Shirashi’s Last of the Wolves also make a strong showing. Like last year, the physical awards ceremony has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic though the winners are expected to be announced in mid-February.

Best Film 

  • A Madder Red – latest from Yuya Ishii starring Machiko Ono as a widowed single mother struggling under a highly stratified society in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Aristocrats – two women involved with the same man eventually find interclass solidarity in Yukiko Sode’s empathetic critique of a highly stratified and fiercely patriarchal society.
  • A Morning of Farewell – melodrama from Izuru Narushima starring Sayuri Yoshinaga as a doctor who returns to her hometown and begins working in a local clinic.
  • The Lone Ume Tree – ’60s New Wave icon Mariko Kaga stars as an ageing woman caring for her autistic son but worrying what will happen when she is no longer able to look after him.
  • It’s a Flickering Life (God of Cinema) – Yoji Yamada’s adaptation of the novel by Maha Harada starring Kenji Sawada as an ageing movie obsessive with a gambling problem looking back on his younger self (Masaki Suda) and broken cinematic dreams
  • Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko – a resentful teenage girl comes to realise that she really does love her larger than life mum after all in Ayumu Watanabe’s anime adaptation of the Kanako Nishi novel.
  • Intolerance – drama from Keisuke Yoshida starring Tori Matsuzaka as a supermarket manager whose attempt to catch a teenage shoplifter ends in tragedy while her father (Arata Furuta) relentlessly pursues vengeance.
  • Last of the Wolves – no longer an earnest rookie, a corrupted Hioka attempts to keep the peace in Heisei Hiroshima in Kazuya Shirashi’s Blood of Wolves followup.
  • The Fable: A Contract Killer Who Doesn’t Kill – Junichi Okada returns as the hitman with a no kill mission in Kan Eguchi’s action comedy sequel.
  • Under the Open Sky – a pure-hearted man of violence struggles to find his place in society after spending most of his life behind bars in Miwa Nishikawa’s impassioned character study.
  • And, the Baton Was Passed – comedy from Tetsu Maeda (A Banana? At This Time of Night?) revolving around the close relationship between a high school girl and her step dad.
  • Drive My Car – a theatre director begins to overcome his sense of inertia after bonding with a young woman hired to drive his car in Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s deeply moving drama.
  • We Made a Beautiful Bouquet – romantic drama from Nobuhiro Doi (Flying Colors) starring Masaki Suda and Kasumi Arimura as a young couple who meet after missing the last train home.
  • Masquerade Night – sequel to the hugely popular Masquerade Hotel starring Masami Nagasawa and Takuya Kimura.
  • In the Wake – mystery drama from Takahisa Zeze starring Hiroshi Abe as a detective hot on the trail of suspect Takeru Satoh
  • Baragaki: Unbroken Samurai – historical drama from Masato Harada starring Junichi Okada as Shinsengumi Vice-Commander Hijikata Toshizo
  • A Family – Michihito Fujii’s contemporary yakuza epic starring Go Ayano
  • A Balance – an idealistic documentarian’s journalistic ethics are strained when she uncovers scandal close to home in Yujiro Harumoto’s probing social drama.
  • Belle – Mamoru Hosoda reinterprets Beauty and the Beast as a grieving young woman becomes an in-app idol star but is also threatened by the presence of a mysterious dragon.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: The Final – concluding chapter of Keishi Ohtomo’s manga adaptation starring Takeru Satoh as the former assassin turned wandering protector.

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Actress

  • Yuki Amami (What Happened to Our Nest Egg!?)
  • Kasumi Arimura (We Made a Beautiful Bouquet)
  • Machiko Ono (A Madder Red)
  • Mei Nagano (And, the Baton Was Passed, Office Royale)
  • Sayuri Yoshinaga (A Morning of Farewell)

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Newcomer

Best Foreign Film

  • Unhinged
  • American Utopia
  • In the Heights
  • Onoda
  • Cruella 
  • Godzilla vs. Kong 
  • No Time to Die
  • Dune
  • Nomadland
  • The Father 
  • Minamata
  • Minari
  • Raya and the Last Dragon 
  • Respect
  • F9

Sources: Eiga NatalieSports Hochi

Japan Academy Prize Announces Winners for 44th Edition

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

Blue Ribbon Awards Announces Winners for 63rd Edition

The Blue Ribbon Awards, presented by film critics and writers in Tokyo, has announced the winners for the 63rd edition which honours films released in 2020. Fukushima 50, a tense dramatisation of the efforts to mitigate the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, takes Best Film while Ryota Nakano takes home Best Director for The Asadas, Masami Nagasawa picks up Best Actress for her second consecutive year reprising her role in The Confidence Man JP, and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi takes Best Actor for his role as a transgender woman. Owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there will be no physical ceremony for this year’s awards.

Best Film  

Fukushima 50 – Setsuro Wakamatsu draws inspiration from Ryusho Kadota’s nonfiction book to pay tribute to the workers who stayed behind during the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Best 10

Presented in no particular order.

  • True Mothers – heartbreaking drama from Naomi Kawase in which a young couple adopt a baby only for the birth mother to resurface
  • The Asadas – latest from Ryota Nakano starring Kazunari Ninomiya inspired by the life of photographer Masashi Asada.
  • Underdog – boxing drama from Masaharu Take.
  • Ito – Heisei love story inspired by the classic Miyuki Nakajima song, directed by Takahisa Zeze, and starring Nana Komatsu & Masaki Suda
  • Theatre: A Love Story – A self-obsessed writer slowly destroys the joy and hope of a woman he claims to love then turns it into art in Isao Yukisada’s dark romance
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train – record breaking movie of the hit TV anime in which a boy in the Taisho era tries to heal his younger sister after she is turned into a demon
  • Wife of a Spy – 8K wartime drama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which Yu Aoi tries to stop her husband Issey Takahashi from blowing the whistle after witnessing atrocity in Manchuria.
  • The Voice of Sin – Shun Oguri stars as a reporter investigating a 30-year-old unsolved case.
  • Fukushima 50 – Setsuro Wakamatsu draws inspiration from Ryusho Kadota’s nonfiction book to pay tribute to the workers who stayed behind during the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant.
  • Midnight Swan – ex-SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi stars as a transgender woman who takes in a little girl neglected by her parents.

Best 10 Runners up

Presented in no particular order

  • A Beloved Wife – An unsuccessful screenwriter is henpecked by his understandably irate sake-guzzling wife in this autobiographical take on a toxic marriage.
  • Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!: The Movie – big screen outing for the TV drama adaptation of the high school delinquent manga by Hiroyuki Nishimori directed by Yuichi Fukuda..
  • The Confidence Man JP: Princess – sequel in which the gang of scammers try their luck in Malaysia
  • Any Crybabies Around? – a young man flees his family in embarrassment after going viral for getting drunk and being naked at a festival only to return two years later to make it up to them.
  • First Love – boxing drama from Takashi Miike
  • Mother – Masami Nagasawa stars as an abusive mother who pushes her teenage son towards murder.
  • Mishima: The Last Debate – documentary focussing on Yukio Mishima’s address to the students at the University of Tokyo in 1969
  • Minoriyuku – drama about an apple farmer who was born with a stammer and dreams of becoming a comedian.
  • Mio’s Cookbook – Haruki Kadokawa period drama in which a woman who lost her parents in a flood discovers a talent for cooking.
  • Yowamushi Pedal – live action adaptation of the popular high school bicycle racing manga.

Best Director

  • Eiji Uchida (Midnight Swan)
  • Naomi Kawase (True Mothers)
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Wife of a Spy)
  • Nobuhiro Doi (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ryota Nakano (The Asadas)

Best Actor

  • Shun Oguri (The Voice of Sin)
  • Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (Midnight Swan)
  • Koichi Sato (Fukushima 50)
  • Kazunari Ninomiya (The Asadas)
  • Mirai Moriyama (Underdog)

Best Actress

  • Yu Aoi (Wife of a Spy)
  • Mana Ashida (Child of the Stars)
  • Hiromi Nagasaku (True Mothers)
  • Masami Nagasawa (Mother / The Confidence Man JP: Princess)
  • Asami Mizukawa (A Beloved Wife)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Asadas / I Never Shot Anyone)
  • Ryo Narita (The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese / Ito)
  • Masahiro Higashide (The Confidence Man JP: Princess / Wife of a Spy)
  • Gen Hoshino (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ken Watanabe (Fukushima 50)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sairi Ito (Theatre: A Love Story / Step / Junihitoe wo Kita Akuma / Hotel Royal)
  • Nana Eikura (Ito)
  • Haru Kuroki (The Asadas)
  • Becky (First Love)
  • Aju Makita (True Mothers)

Best Newcomer

  • Daiken Okudaira (Mother)
  • Sakurako Konishi (First Love)
  • Nao (Mio’s Cookbook / Stigmatized Properties)
  • Misaki Hattori (Midnight Swan)
  • Hio Miyazawa (his)
  • Nana Mori (Last Letter)

Best Foreign Film

Parasite

Foreign Film Best 10

13 because of multiple ties. Presented in no particular order

  • Never Look Away
  • 1917
  • Judy
  • Bombshell
  • Little Women
  • Tenet
  • Onward 
  • House of Hummingbird
  • Parasite
  • The Farewell
  • Ford v Ferrari (AKA Le Mans ’66 in some territories)
  • Midsommar 
  • Wonder Woman 1984

Foreign Film Best 10 Runners Up

Presented in no particular order

  • Mr Jones
  • The Painted Bird
  • Abe
  • Cats
  • The Kindness of Strangers 
  • Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey  
  • A Rainy Day in New York 

Sources: Eiga NatalieSports Hochi

Kinema Junpo Announces 94th Best 10 for 2020

Prestigious cinema magazine Kinema Junpo has released its always anticipated “Best 10” list for films released in 2020, the 94th edition. Top prize goes to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Silver Lion-winning Wife of a Spy while the late Nobuhiko Obayashi takes the Best Director award for his final film Labyrinth of Cinema which comes in second on the Best 10 list.

Best 10

1. Wife of a Spy (スパイの妻<劇場版>)

Originally commissioned for 8K TV, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s wartime drama stars Yu Aoi as the titular wife who finds herself working against her husband, Issey Takahashi, when she discovers that he intends to blow the whistle after observing something he shouldn’t have while working in Manchuria. An awards season favourite, the film also picked up the Silver Lion at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.

2. Labyrinth of Cinema (海辺の映画館-キネマの玉手箱)

A poetic advocation for the transformative power of art, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s final film takes a surrealist odyssey through the history of warfare as three youngsters chase the image of Japan in the labyrinths of cinema. Review.

3. True Mothers (朝が来る)

Festival darling Naomi Kawase adapts Mizuki Tsujimura’s novel in which a childless couple adopt the baby of a teenage mother only for her to return some years later and attempt to reclaim her child.

4. Underdog (アンダードッグ)

Two-part boxing drama from Masaharu Take (100 Yen Love) starring Best Actor winner Mirai Moriyama as a dejected featherweight fighter who’s never made it to champion finding himself faced with a TV comedian (Ryo Katsuji) giving it a go in the ring and a cocky up-and-comer (Takumi Kitamura) who can’t shake his violent past.

5. The Real Thing (本気のしるし<劇場版>)

First aired as a 10-part TV drama then edited down to 233 minutes for theatrical exhibition, the latest from Koji Fukada (Hospitalité, Harmonium, A Girl Missing) adapts the manga of the same name and stars Win Morisaki as a bored salaryman whose life changes after he saves a mysterious woman, Kaho Tsuchimura, from an oncoming train.

6. 37 Seconds (37セカンズ)

Written and directed by the single-named Hikari, vibrant drama 37 Seconds stars Mei Kayama as an aspiring mangaka with cerebral palsy striving to escape the overbearing caring of her well-meaning mother while trying to gain experience to make it in the world of erotic comics. Review. Streaming via Netflix in many territories!

7. The Voice of Sin (罪の声)

Mystery drama adapted from the novel by Takeshi Shiota starring Shun Oguri and Gen Hoshino as a reporter and tailor respectively who each find themselves investigating an unsolved murder from 30 years previously.

8. A Beloved Wife (喜劇 愛妻物語)

Semi-autobiographical comedy drama from screenwriter/director Shin Adachi exploring the toxic marriage between an unsuccessful screenwriter and his resentful, dipsomaniac wife (Best Actress winner Asami Mizukawa). Review.

9. Living in Your Sky (空に住む)

Shinji Aoyama returns to cinema screens for the first time in seven years following 2013’s Backwater adapting the novel by Masato Odake. Mikako Tabe stars as an editor at a publishing house who loses her parents suddenly and moves into a luxury apartment block managed by her uncle where she strikes up a romance with a movie star (Takanori Iwata) living a few floors above.

10. On the Edge of Their Seats (アルプススタンドのはしの方)

Indie drama adapting a popular play first performed by a high school theatre group and set on the bleachers of a high school baseball game.

Best 10 International

  1. Parasite
  2. House of Hummingbird
  3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  4. Little Women
  5. The Painted Bird 
  6. Dead Souls
  7. Ford v Ferrari (Le Mans ’66)
  8. Pain and Glory
  9. 1917
  10. Tenet

Best 10 Documentaries

  1. Why You Can’t Be Prime Minister (なぜ君は総理大臣になれないのか)
  2. Prison Circle (プリズン・サークル)
  3. Hana no Atosaki: Mutsu Baasan no Aruita Michi (花のあとさき ムツばあさんの歩いた道)
  4. Mishima: The Last Debate (三島由紀夫vs東大全共闘 50年目の真実)
  5. Ongaku House Melody-Go-Round (音響ハウス Melody-Go-Round)
  6. Jose Mujica: Sekai de Ichiban Mazushii Daitoryo kara Nihonjin e (ムヒカ 世界でいちばん貧しい大統領から日本人へ)
  7. Tane wa Dare no Mono (タネは誰のもの)
  8. An Ant Strikes Back (アリ地獄天国)
  9. Reiwa Uprising (れいわ一揆)
  10. Montage of Hong Kong (香港画)

Individual Awards

Best Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi (Labyrinth of Cinema)

Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi / Tadashi Nohara / Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Wife of a Spy)

Best Director (international): Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)

Best Actress: Asami Mizukawa (A Beloved Wife / Runway)

Best Actor: Mirai Moriyama (Underdog)

Best Supporting Actress: Aju Makita (True Mothers)

Best Supporting Actor: Shohei Uno (The Voice of Sin / The Real Thing / A Beast in Love / 37 Seconds / Child of the Stars)

Best Newcomer (actress): Serena Motola (Voices in the Wind / Life: Untitled)

Best Newcomer (actor): Daiken Okudaira (Mother)

Readers’ Choice Best Director: Mitsutoshi Tanaka (Tengaramon)

Readers’ Choice Best Director (international): Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)

Readers’ Choice Award: Saburo Kawamoto – Eiga wo Mireba Wakaru Koto (映画を見ればわかること)

Special Award: Teruyo Nogami (producer)

Source: Kinema Junpo official website.

Japan Academy Prize Announces Nominees for 44th Edition

The Japan Academy Prize, Japan’s equivalent of the Oscars awarded by the Nippon Academy-sho Association of industry professionals, has announced the candidate list for its 44th edition which honours films released between Dec. 16, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020. The big (potential) winners this year are the tense drama recounting the efforts to mitigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Fukushima 50, and crime thriller The Voice of Sin which each pick up 12 nominations, while there are also good showings for Eiji Uchida’s Midnight Swan, Ryota Nakano’s The Asadas, and the 50th anniversary Tora-san tribute, Tora-san, Wish You Were Here. The awards ceremony hosted by last year’s Best Actress winner Shim Eun-kyung and TV presenter Shinichi Hatori will take place at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa on 19th March.

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)

Source: Japan Academy Prize official websiteEiga Natalie

Blue Ribbon Awards Announces Nominations for 63rd Edition

Presented by film critics and writers in Tokyo, the Blue Ribbon Awards has announced its nominations for the 63rd edition honouring films released in 2020 which has admittedly been a difficult year though as the list of nominees demonstrates nevertheless a strong one for cinema. This year there will be no physical ceremony but the winners are expected to be announced in mid-February.

Best Film  

  • True Mothers – heartbreaking drama from Naomi Kawase in which a young couple adopt a baby only for the birth mother to resurface
  • The Asadas – latest from Ryota Nakano starring Kazunari Ninomiya inspired by the life of photographer Masashi Asada.
  • Underdog – boxing drama from Masaharu Take.
  • Ito – Heisei love story inspired by the classic Miyuki Nakajima song, directed by Takahisa Zeze, and starring Nana Komatsu & Masaki Suda
  • A Beloved Wife – An unsuccessful screenwriter is henpecked by his understandably irate sake-guzzling wife in this autobiographical take on a toxic marriage.
  • Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!: The Movie – big screen outing for the TV drama adaptation of the high school delinquent manga by Hiroyuki Nishimori directed by Yuichi Fukuda.
  • Theatre: A Love Story – A self-obsessed writer slowly destroys the joy and hope of a woman he claims to love then turns it into art in Isao Yukisada’s dark romance
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train – record breaking movie of the hit TV anime in which a boy in the Taisho era tries to heal his younger sister after she is turned into a demon.
  • The Confidence Man JP: Princess – sequel in which the gang of scammers try their luck in Malaysia
  • Wife of a Spy – 8K wartime drama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which Yu Aoi tries to stop her husband Takahashi Issei from blowing the whistle after witnessing atrocity in Manchuria.
  • The Voice of Sin – Shun Oguri stars as a reporter investigating a 30-year-old unsolved case.
  • Any Crybabies Around? – a young man flees his family in embarrassment after going viral for getting drunk and being naked at a festival only to return two years later to make it up to them.
  • First Love – boxing drama from Takashi Miike
  • Fukushima 50 – Setsuro Wakamatsu draws inspiration from Ryusho Kadota’s nonfiction book to pay tribute to the workers who stayed behind during the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Mother – Masami Nagasawa stars as an abusive mother who pushes her teenage son towards murder.
  • Mishima: The Last Debate – documentary focussing on Yukio Mishima’s address to the students at the University of Tokyo in 1969
  • Midnight Swan – ex-SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi stars as a transgender woman who takes in a little girl neglected by her parents.
  • Minoriyuku – drama about an apple farmer who was born with a stammer and dreams of becoming a comedian.
  • Mio’s Cookbook – Haruki Kadokawa period drama in which a woman who lost her parents in a flood discovers a talent for cooking.
  • Yowamushi Pedal – live action adaptation of the popular high school bicycle racing manga.

Best Director

  • Eiji Uchida (Midnight Swan)
  • Naomi Kawase (True Mothers)
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Wife of a Spy)
  • Nobuhiro Doi (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ryota Nakano (The Asadas)

Best Actor

  • Shun Oguri (The Voice of Sin)
  • Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (Midnight Swan)
  • Koichi Sato (Fukushima 50)
  • Kazunari Ninomiya (The Asadas)
  • Mirai Moriyama (Underdog)

Best Actress

  • Yu Aoi (Wife of a Spy)
  • Mana Ashida (Child of the Stars)
  • Hiromi Nagasaku (True Mothers)
  • Masami Nagasawa (Mother / Confidence Man JP: Princess)
  • Asami Mizukawa (A Beloved Wife)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Asadas / I Never Shot Anyone)
  • Ryo Narita (The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese / Ito)
  • Masahiro Higashide (Confidence Man JP: Princess / Wife of a Spy)
  • Gen Hoshino (The Voice of Sin)
  • Ken Watanabe (Fukushima 50)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sairi Ito (Theatre: A Love Story / Step / Junihitoe wo Kita Akuma / Hotel Royal)
  • Nana Eikura (Ito)
  • Haru Kuroki (The Asadas)
  • Becky (First Love)
  • Aju Makita (True Mothers)

Best Newcomer

  • Daiken Okudaira (Mother)
  • Sakurako Konishi (First Love)
  • Nao (Mio’s Cookbook / Stigmatized Properties)
  • Misaki Hattori (Midnight Swan)
  • Hio Miyazawa (his)
  • Nana Mori (Last Letter)

Best Foreign Film

  • Mr Jones
  • Never Look Away
  • The Painted Bird
  • 1917
  • Abe
  • Cats
  • Judy
  • Bombshell
  • Little Women
  • Tenet
  • Onward 
  • The Kindness of Strangers 
  • Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey 
  • House of Hummingbird
  • Parasite
  • The Farewell 
  • Ford v Ferrari (AKA Le Mans ’66 in some territories)
  • Midsommar 
  • A Rainy Day in New York 
  • Wonder Woman 1984

Sources: Eiga NatalieSports Hochi

Japan Academy Prize Announces Winners for 43rd Edition

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 43rd edition which honours films released between Dec. 16, 2018 and Dec. 15, 2019. Michihito Fujii’s political thriller The Journalist dominated the major categories taking Picture of the Year as well as Best Actor/Actress, while Kingdom also made a good showing taking both Supporting Actor and Actress. Despite its large number of nominations, Fly Me to the Saitama took only Director, Screenplay, and Editing.

Picture of the Year

Animation of the Year

  • Her Blue Sky
  • Weathering with You
  • Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire
  • Lupin III: The First
  • One Piece: Stampede

Director of the Year

Screenplay of the Year

  • Shozo Katashima (Talking the Pictures)
  • Roba Shimori, Akihiko Takaishi, Michihito Fujii (The Journalist)
  • Yuichi Tokunaga (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Hideyuki Hirayama (Closed Ward)
  • Koki Mitani (Hit Me Anyone One More Time)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Tsurube Shofukutei (Closed Ward)
  • Masaki Suda (The Great War of Archimedes)
  • Kiichi Nakai (Hit Me Anyone One More Time)
  • Tori Matsuzaka (The Journalist)
  • GACKT (Fly Me to the Saitama)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Go Ayano (Closed Ward)
  • Yusuke Iseya (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Tasuku Emoto (The Great War of Archimedes)
  • Takashi Okamura (The 47 Ronin in Debt)
  • Kuranosuke Sasaki (Kubo Ibuki)
  • Ryo Yoshizawa (Kingdom)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Achievement in Music

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

  • Taro Kawazu (Kingdom)
  • Kozo Shibasaki (Closed Ward)
  • Shohei Tanigawa (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Piotr Niemyjski (Listen to the Universe)
  • Junichi Fujisawa (Talking the Pictures)

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction

The lighting award is tied to cinematography which was awarded to Kingdom but unfortunately there was no eligible nominee so this year there is no winner in the lighting category.

  • Nariyuki Ueda (Closed Ward)
  • Shunri Rinoie (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Kenjiro So (Listen to the Universe)
  • Tatsuya Osada (Talking the Pictures)

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

  • Yoji Abeki (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Norihiro Isoda (Talking the Pictures)
  • Iwao Saito (Kingdom)
  • Anri Johjo (The Great War of Archimedes)
  • Katsumi Nakazawa (Closed Ward)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording

  • Hirokazu Kato (Fly Me to the Saitama)
  • Yoshifumi Kureishi (Listen to the Universe)
  • Hiromichi Kori (Talking the Pictures)
  • Masato Komatsu (Closed Ward)
  • Kazushiko Yokono (Kingdom)

Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing

Outstanding Foreign Language Film

  • Yesterday
  • Green Book
  • Joker
  • The Mule
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Newcomer of the Year 

(awarded to all nominees equally)

  • Yukino Kishii (Just Only Love)
  • Yuina Kuroshima (Talking the Pictures)
  • Riho Yoshioka (Blind Witness, Parallel World Love Story)
  • Oji Suzuka (Listen to the Universe)
  • Win Morisaki (Listen to the Universe)
  • Ryusei Yokohama (Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito; Go Away, Ultramarine; Cheer Boys!)

Special Award from the Association

(Lifetime achievement awards, technical fields)

  • Tetsuo Kaneko (Opticals)
  • Yoichi Kotabe (Animator)
  • Kunio Niwa (Location Manager)
  • Yoshio Yamada (Production Designer)

Award for Distinguished Service from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement awards, creatives)

  • Koji Takada (Screenwriter)
  • Akira Takarada (Actor)
  • Yoko Tsukasa (Actress)
  • Sadao Nakajima (Director)
  • Ayako Wakao (Actress)

Special Award from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement award presented to members of the film industry who passed away during 2019)

  • Etsuko Ichihara (Actress)
  • Yasuo Furuhata (Director)
  • Tadao Takashima (Actor)
  • Makoto Wada (Director, Screenwriter, Illustrator)

In Memoriam 

(Special section honouring previous recipients of the Special Awards who passed away in 2019)

  • Junya Sato (Director/Screenwriter)
  • Machiko Kyo (Actress)
  • Takashi Kawamata (Cinematographer)
  • Yoshinobu Nishioka (Art Director)
  • Kaoru Yachigusa (Actress)
  • Takashi Matsuda (Costume Designer)
  • Sunao Sakagami (Producer)
  • Masashi Tara (Sound Designer)
  • Nobuo Yajima (Special Effects)

Popularity Awards

(Decided via an All Night Nippon listener poll)

Movie: The 47 Ronin in Debt

Actor: Gen Hoshino (Samurai Shifters)

Source: Japan Academy Prize official websiteEiga Natalie