Burning, Shoplifters, Headline Cannes 2018


photo_pcThe Cannes film festival has announced its first clutch of titles and while it’s not a bumper year for East Asian cinema, the few titles selected are among the most highly anticipated.



  • Asako I & II – Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s followup to Happy Hour is another lengthy drama following a young woman whose boyfriend mysteriously disappears. Two years later, she meets a man who looks exactly like him but has a totally different personality.
  • Shoplifters – the latest from festival favourite Hirokazu Koreeda, Shoplifters boasts an A-list cast including Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Kengo Kora, Sosuke Ikematsu, Chizuru Ikewaki, Yuki Yamada, Yoko Moriguchi and Akira Emoto and centres on a family of petty criminals who take in an orphaned little girl.



  • Ash Is Purest White – Jia Zhangke returns with another socially conscious crime drama as a woman shoots a gang member to protect her mobster boyfriend and winds up in prison for five years. When she gets out, she goes looking for her former love…
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Bi Gan’s followup to the critically acclaimed Kaili Blues stars Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, and Huang Jue and follows a murderer who returns to his hometown haunted by memories of the woman he killed for.
  • Dead Souls – Wang Bing’s eight-hour documentary about dying expands on the themes of his previous doc, Mrs. Fang.



  • Burning – the long awaited return by Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong, Burning adapts a short story by Haruki Murakami and revolves around three people – a novelist, another man, and a fashion model, as they become embroiled in a strange incident.
  • The Spy Gone North – Yoon Jong-bin’s thriller follows a South Korean spy on an infiltration mission in the North.



  • 10 Years in Thailand – inspired by the Hong Kong original, four Thai directors – Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, consider what their nation will look like in 10 years time.

The Cannes film festival runs 8 – 19th May, 2018. Further titles may well be announced in the coming weeks. You can keep up to date with all the latest Cannes news via the festival’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, Instagram and YouTube Channels.

Steel Rain, Night Bus Bookend 20th Udine Far East Film Festival

27352385278_5690a7d84e_oThe Udine Far East Film Festival returns for its 20th edition in just over a week’s time. As usual, the festival has brought together some of the most highly anticipated East Asian cinema releases in its 81 film programme which also includes a retrospective dedicated to veteran actress Brigitte Lin who will be receiving the festival’s coveted Golden Mulberry Award. The festival will open with Netflix Original Steel Rain making its Festival Premiere, while Emil Heradi’s Indonesian thriller Night Bus will close the festival on 28th April.

Full programme:


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  • A Better Tomorrow 2018 – Ding Sheng’s remake of the ’80s John Woo classic in which two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the law.
  • Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield – Lu Yang’s prequel to the 2014 original follows Shen Lian as he searches for clues to expose a conspiracy.
  • The Legend of the Demon Cat – Chen Kaige adapts a Japanese novel by Yoneyama Mineo in which a poet and a monk follow a cat to track down a murderer. Features Chinese/Japanese cast including Shota Sometani, Huang Xuan, Hiroshi Abe, Qin Hao, and Keiko Matsuzaka.
  • Never Say Die – hilarious Chinese body swap comedy! Review.
  • Love Education – Sylvia Chang’s latest explores the impact of China’s feudal legacy as two women fight for the remains of a polygamous man.
  • Transcendent – existential science fiction thriller.
  • Wolf Warrior II – Wu Jing’s gung-ho action sequel in which Leng Feng takes the fight to Africa.
  • Wrath of Silence – a mute father searches for clues regarding the disappearance of his son in Xin Yukun’s probing crime drama. Review.
  • Youth – Feng Xiaogang looks back at the Cultural Revolution through the story of the Revolutionary Ballet corps. Review.

Hong Kong/China

Operation Red Sea

  • Operation Red Sea – Dante Lam’s Operation Mekong sequel finds elite Chinese military forces evacuating diplomatic staff after war breaks out in the Middle East. Review.
  • Our Time Will Come – Ann Hui tells the story of the resistance movement in World War II HK. Review.

Hong Kong

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  • The Empty Hands – comedy from Chapman To in which a half-Japanese Hong Kong woman’s dreams of freedom from her father’s martial arts legacy are dashed when he leaves 51% of his dojo to another pupil who challenges her to a match for the right to win his controlling share.
  • No. 1 Chung Ying Street – drama contrasting 1967 pro-China demonstrations against the British Government, and the Umbrella democratisation movement in present day Hong Kong.
  • The Bride with White Hair – Ronny Yu’s classic wu xia. Brigitte Lin retrospective.
  • Chungking Express – Wong Kar-Wai’s HK classic. Brigitte Lin retrospective.
  • Dragon Inn – 1992 wuxia classic from Raymond Lee. Brigitte Lin retrospective.
  • Red Dust – 1990 melodrama in which a novelist falls in love with a Japanese collaborator during World War II. Brigitte Lin retrospective.
  • My Heart Is That Eternal Rose – Patrick Tam’s 1989 romantic crime drama.
  • Throw Down – premiere of the new restoration of Johnnie To’s 2004 martial arts drama starring Louis Koo and Aaron Kwok.


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  • My Generation – teen movie affectionately satirising Indonesian millennials.
  • Night Bus – civilians catch a bus to Sampar – a town rich in natural resources but heavily guarded by the army who are keen to defend against rebel militias. Closing night gala.
  • Satan’s Slaves – Joko Anwar remakes the 1980 classic horror movie in which a mother rises from the dead to collect her children.


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  • The 8-Year Engagement – romantic tearjerker starring Takeru Satoh and Tao Tsuchiya.
  • The Blood of Wolves – Koji Yakusho plays a possibly dodgy cop investigating a missing persons case in Kazuya Shirashi’s ’80s crime drama.
  • Yocho (Foreboding) – the theatrical cutdown of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s TV companion piece to Before we Vanish.
  • Inuyashiki – Shinsuke Sato adapts Hiroya Oku’s science-fiction manga in which an old man gets superpowers and decides to use them to do good, meanwhile a young man has the opposite reaction.
  • Mori, The Artist’s Habitat – the latest from Shuichi Okita stars Kirin Kiki and Tsutomu Yamazaki in the story of an elderly artist and his wife of 52 years.
  • The Name – bankrupt businessman Masao discovers a new side to himself after encountering mysterious high school girl Emiko.
  • One Cut of the Dead – experimental zombie fun from Shinichiro Ueda.
  • The Scythian Lamb – Ryuhei Matsuda stars in Daihachi Yoshida’s adaptation of Tatsuhiko Yamagami and Mikio Igarashi’s manga in which prisoners are released from jail on the condition that they help repopulate declining rural towns.
  • Tremble All You Want – an office lady experiences a number of romantic difficulties in this off-kilter love comedy.
  • Ramen Heads – documentary following “Ramen King” Osamu Tomita.
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA – documentary following the legendary composer.
  • SUKITA: The Shoot Must Go On – David Bowie x photographer Masayoshi Sukita documentary.
  • Blue Film Woman – premiere of a new restoration of the classic 1969 pink film by Ken Mukai.
  • Women Hell Song – premiere of a new restoration of the classic 1970 pink film by Mamoru Watanabe.
  • Tampopo – Juzo Itami’s classic “ramen western”. Review.



  • Crossroads:One Two Jaga –  gritty migrant worker drama from Nam Ron.

South Korea

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  • 1987: When the Day Comes – democracy movement drama from Jang Joon-hwan.
  • The Battleship Island: Director’s Cut – extended cut of Ryoo Seung-wan’s wartime drama in which a musician and his daughter are conscripted for offshore forced labour. Review of the theatrical edition.
  • Be with You – remake of the 2004 jun-ai classic in which a bereaved husband and son discover a woman who looks like their lost wife and mother wandering in the forest.
  • The Chase – a retired policeman teams up with a landowner to solve a 30-year-old cold case.
  • Forgotten – a nervous young man begins to doubt his surroundings after his brother is kidnapped. Review.
  • Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum – a TV crew travel to an abandoned asylum with a notorious past and get a lot more than they bargained for.
  • Last Child – powerful drama in which a grieving couple warm to the child their son died saving.
  • Little Forest – remake of the Japanese foody drama starring Kim Tae-ri
  • Midnight Runners – two police trainees decide to pursue justice alone in this hugely enjoyable buddy cop action comedy. Review.
  • The Outlaws – Ma Dong-seok stars in an anarchic crime drama. Review.
  • The Running Actress – actress Moon So-ri writes, directs, and stars in this feature length compilation of three shorts.
  • A Special Lady – Kim Hye-soo stars as the second in command of a corporate gangster outfit in this noirish thriller.
  • Steel Rain – A North Korean operative brings the wounded leader to the South to escape a coup and then must cooperate with an intelligence officer to prevent a nuclear war. Opening night gala. Review.
  • Courtesy to the Nation – Kwon Gyeong-won’s documentary focuses on democracy activist Chang Ki-hoon who became the centre of the Fake Will Scandal.
  • Veteran – Ryoo Seung-wan’s 2015 action drama. Review.



  • Chedeng and Apple – two old ladies set off on a quest to discover lost love with a severed head in a handbag along for the ride.
  • The Portrait – musical World War 2 drama.
  • Smaller and Smaller Circles – Raya Martin adapts the novel by F. H. Batacan in which two priests investigate murders of small boys in a Manila slum.
  • Himala– 1982 religious drama from Ishmael Bernal.
  • Moral – classic 1982 youth drama from Marilou Diaz-Abaya.


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  • Diamond Dogs – a terminal cancer patient enters an underground social experiment.
  • Wonder Boy – ’70s musical biopic.



  • All Because of Love – teen romance.
  • Dear Ex – family drama
  • Gatao 2: Rise of the King – sequel to the gangster drama.
  • On Happiness Road –  charming animation in which a woman returns to her childhood home.
  • Take Me to the Moon – timeslip comedy in which a young man attempts to save his friend from a life decision that will eventually lead to both their deaths.
  • Cloud of Romance – restored melodrama from 1977. Brigitte Lin retrospective.
  • Outside the Window – 1973 Taiwanese age-gap romantic melodrama. Brigitte Lin retrospective.


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  • Bad Genius – a high school girl hatches a plan to cheat the exams system. Review.
  • The Promise – two women pledge to commit suicide together but when one backs out the other returns 20 years later to haunt her!
  • Sad Beauty – two female friends get mixed up in a murder.


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  • The Tailor – a tale of dressmaking and family in ’60s Vietnam.

Full details for each of the films will be shortly available via the official website where you can also find the daily screening schedule. Screenings take place both at the Teatro Nuovo, and the Visionario cinema. You can keep up with all the latest festival news via the festival’s Facebook Page, Instagram and YouTube channels, Twitter account, and Tumblr.

Korean Film Nights 2018: Korean Novels On Screen

Kim Ki-young earth posterAfter a brief pause, the Korean Cultural Centre London is set to resume its series of free film screenings with a brand new strand celebrating literary adaptations. Running from March to June, Korean Film Nights 2018: Korean Novels on Screen will showcase a diverse selection of films inspired by books from the “literary films” of the golden age to the recent hits of today.

29th March – Earth 

Earth-02Housemaid director Kim Ki-young adapts Yi Kwang-su’s 1932 novel of resistance in which a poor boy studies law in Seoul and marries the daughter of the landowner he once served only to decide to return and help his home village suffering under Japanese oppression.

Also screening at Deptford Cinema, 16th April, 7pm.

12th April – The Descendants of Cain

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Yu Hyun-mok (Aimless Bullet) adapts Hwang Sun-won’s autobiographical anti-communist novel in which a struggle over the means of production plays out against an impossible love story between the estranged wife of a communist agitator and the noble hearted founder of the school the communists have commandeered as their base.

26th April – White Badge

White Badge still 1Directed by Chung Ji-young, White Badge adapts Anh Junghyo’s autobiographical Vietnam novel in which a traumatised writer (played by Ahn Sung-ki) is forced to address his wartime past when an old comrade comes back into his life.

10th May – A Petal

a petal horizontalAdapting the novel by Choe Yun, Jang Sun-woo examines the legacy of the Gwangju Massacre through the story of a little girl who refuses to leave the side of a vulgar and violent man no matter how poorly he treats her.

Also screening at Deptford Cinema, 22nd May, 7pm.

24th May – The Old Garden

the old garden still 1Adapted from a novel by writer and activist Hwang Sok-young, Im Sang-soo’s The Old Garden follows an activist released from prison after 17 years who cannot forget the memory of a woman who helped him when he was a fugitive in the mountains.

7th June – The Unfair

The unfair horizontalThe debut feature from Kim Sung-je, the Unfair is an adaptation of Son Aram’s courtroom thriller which draws inspiration from the Yongsan Tragedy in which residents protesting redevelopment were forcibly evicted and several lives were lost including one of a police officer.

Also screening at Deptford Cinema, 19th June, 7pm.

28th June – My Brilliant Life + Q&A with author Kim Ae-ran

my brilliant life still 1An adaptation of the novel by Kim Ae-ran who will also be present for a Q&A, E J-yong’s My Brilliant Life stars Gang Dong-won and Song Hye-kyo as teenage parents raising a son who turns out to have a rare genetic condition which causes rapid ageing.

All of the screenings take place at the Korean Cultural Centre at 7pm and are free to attend but must be booked in advance via the links above. You can keep up to date with all the latest screening news via the Korean Cultural Centre and London Korean Film Festival websites and be sure to follow the festival on Twitter, Facebook, FlickrInstagram and YouTube channels for the most up to date information.

Tickets are also now on sale for the first of the 2018 Teaser Screenings for the upcoming London Korean Film Festival – Be With You which takes place at Picturehouse Central on 25th April at 9pm.

Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival Launches 2018 UK Tour

in time to come still 2Following its announcement last October, Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival – a brand new UK festival dedicated to Asian cinemas, is set to launch its inaugural screening series with three events at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts in late March.

In Time To Come 

25th March, 1pm

in time to come still 1Tan Pin Pin’s Singaporean documentary unearths a time capsule of national history through videographic recordings to probe the connections between time and memory.

The Island Funeral

29th March, 6pm

Island Funeral posterLaila, a Muslim in predominantly Buddhist Bangkok, travels south along with her brother Zugood and friend Toy just as political turmoil engulfs the city. Yet being from the city they are each mostly ignorant of the ongoing political strife which has plagued the southern regions for quite some time. Meeting a conflicted soldier who also feels like an outsider being from the North the four continue on their journey through a strange landscape.

People Power Bombshell: The Diary Of Vietnam Rose

31st March, 1pm

People Power Bombshell- The Diary of Vietnam RoseJohn Torres repurposes footage from an uncompleted film by Celso Advento Castillo to lay bare the various oppressions of the Marcos regime at the time of the People Power Revolution through the story of Liz Alindogan whose dreams of becoming an actress were frustrated by the world in which she lived.

All three screenings take place at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and tickets are already available via the links above. Further details are available on the official website and you can keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook Page and Twitter account.

Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival will tour across the UK throughout the spring and summer of 2018.

Anarchist from Colony Opens Osaka Asian Film Festival 2018

osaka poster largeThe Osaka Asian Film Festival returns for 2018 bringing the best in independent Japanese and East Asian cinema to Japan’s second city. As usual the festival has brought together some of the most anticipated recent features from veteran filmmakers and first timers from across the region opening with Lee Joon-ik’s tale of colonial rebellion and closing with Japanese indie THE NAME.


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  • THE NAME – bankrupt businessman Masao discovers a new side to himself after encountering mysterious high school girl Emiko. Closing Night Gala.
  • Bad Poetry Tokyo – 30-year-old Jun is an aspiring actress working as a hostess while waiting to fulfil the dreams she fears have already eluded her.
  • Passage of Life – A young Burmese family try to make a life for themselves in Japan whilst remaining undocumented.
  • Woozoo be Alright? – A Korean businessman gets sent to Osaka after his boss is lost in a shipwreck but ends up quitting his job to learn guitar from a Japanese girl.
  • The Garden Apartment – Hikari and Taro are a young unmarried couple expecting a baby but financially insecure. Taro has been relying on an eccentric aunt for financial support but when Hikari is introduced to her she finds herself entering a whole new world.
  • KUSHINA, what will you be – Kushina has lived in a woman only village deep in the forest all her life but her world is turned upside down when a wandering anthropologist discovers the village’s existence.
  • The Path Leading to Love – alcoholic Shosuke ruins professional and personal possibilities through fear and insecurity but is forced to confront himself on discovering his mother is seriously ill.
  • The Sower – Mitsuo returns to his family after being institutionalised for mental breakdown caused by the strain of helping those caught up in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami but a family tragedy soon provides another wave of emotional turbulence. Review.
  • Still Life of Memories – In the latest from Hitoshi Yazaki, a photographer gets an unusual request to photograph the intimate areas of a female subject placing a strain on his romantic relationship.
  • TOURISM – Daisuke Miyazaki’s Yamato (California) followup takes two Yamato girls to Singapore only to discover that even abroad they can’t leave Yamato behind.
  • My Country My Home – Nan was born and raised in Japan but her dad is from Myanmar. When she finds out he intends to return and take her with him she finds out a little about her father’s history and her Burmese heritage.


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  • Anarchist from Colony – Lee Jook-ik tells the story of Korean anarchist Park Yeol and his Japanese wife who find themselves caught up in the anti-Korean hysteria in the aftermath of the 1923 Kanto earthquake. ReviewOpening Night Gala.
  • Daddy You, Daughter Me – Father/daughter bodyswap comedy inspired by Japanese novel Papa to Musume no Nanokakan.
  • Bitch on the Beach – Hong Sang-soo-esque cineliterate comedy from actor/director Jeong Ga-yeong. Review.


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  • A Better Tomorrow 2018 – Ding Sheng’s remake of the ’80s John Woo classic in which two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the law.

Hong Kong

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  • In Your Dreams – 16-year-old Heng saves a woman from drowning in a swimming pool and becomes captivated by her loneliness.
  • No. 1 Chung Ying Street – drama contrasting 1967 pro-China demonstrations against the British Government, and the Umbrella democratisation movement in present day Hong Kong.
  • The Empty Hands – comedy from Chapman To in which a half-Japanese Hong Kong woman’s dreams of freedom from her father’s martial arts legacy are dashed when he leaves 51% of his dojo to another pupil who challenges her to a match for the right to win his controlling share.
  • Love Off the Cuff – Jimmy and Cherie return for the third in Pang’s charming series of romantic comedies. Review.
  • Made in Hong Kong – 4K restoration of Fruit Chan’s seminal tale of handover youth. Review.
  • Somewhere Beyond the Mist – first narrative feature from documentarian Cheung King Wai in which a pregnant cop caring for a father with Alzheimer’s is charged with investigating the deaths of an elderly couple.


The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful

  • The Bold, The Corrupt and the Beautiful – Madame Tang runs an antique shop in ’80s Taiwan which she uses as a front for her dodgy business dealings. Her daughter Ning reluctantly goes along with her scheming while granddaughter Chen watches in silence. When a neighbouring family is murdered, the trio begin to realise how precarious their situation really is.
  • Take Me To the Moon – timeslip comedy in which a young man attempts to save his friend from a life decision that will eventually lead to both their deaths.
  • A Dog’s Life – four stories of dogs!
  • The Island That All Flow By – Chia-Wen loses her tollbooth job to technology while her teenage son gets into trouble with the law. Truck driver Chih-Hao offers to help, but not for free.


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  • Mr. and Mrs. Cruz – two tourists are mistaken for a married couple and keep up the pretence while enjoying a beautiful holiday romance.
  • NEOMANILA – The latest from Mikhail Red is a tough tale of life on the streets of Duterte’s Manila.
  • PAKI (Please, Care) – 70-year-old Alejandra decides to leave her husband of 50 years while her family struggle to accept her decision.
  • Love You To The Stars And Back – Socially awkward Mika sets off on a journey to get abducted by aliens but ends up meeting Caloy who has lived a life of hardship but remains positive and agrees to help her in her quest.


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  • Posesif – Lala’s first love is derailed by a possessive boyfriend in this Indonesian drama.
  • Pai Kau – Lucy’s dream wedding is threatened when her fiancé’s ex shows up unexpectedly.


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  • Die Tomorrow – Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit follows six residents of Bangkok on their last day on Earth.


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  • The Tailor – a tale of dressmaking and family in ’60s Vietnam.

Sri Lanka

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  • Underpants Thief – Sam seeks help for his compulsion to touch ladies’ undies and is advised to marry but his brother doesn’t want him to because he wants to inherit their family mansion and redevelop it into a hotel. Sam’s sister-in-law, however, has a different, more radical solution…


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  • The Forest Whispers – a village suffering a curse prays to the forest deity whereupon a mysterious woman arrives but when people start dying they wonder if she is a saviour or executioner.
  • Poppy Goes to Hollywood Redux – homophobic street punk Mony takes refuge with his transgender sibling, a dancer in a gay club.


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  • Think Big Big – a larger lady finds internet fame after entering a slimming competition but begins to lose sight of who she really is.

The Osaka Asian Film Festival takes place from 9th – 18th March, 2018. You can find full details and screening information for all the films on the official website, and you can keep up with all the latest festival news via the official Facebook Page, Twitter account, YouTube and Instagram channels.

The Third Murder Sweeps 41st Japan Academy Prize

The Third Murder still 2The 41st Japan Academy Prize was presented at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa on 2nd March 2018. Hirokazu Koreeda’s latest, his first foray into the murder mystery, swept the board with six awards including the big ticket items of best picture, director, supporting actor and supporting actress. Despite numerous nominations popular hit Let Me Eat Your Pancreas went away with only the previously announced newcomer awards while period epic Sekigahara had some success in technical categories.

Winners and nominees in full:

Picture of the Year

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  • Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (Sho Tsukikawa)
  • The Third Murder (Hirokazu Koreeda)
  • Sekigahara (Masato Harada)
  • Miracles of the Namiya General Store (Ryuichi Hiroki)
  • Flower and Sword (Tetsuo Shinohara)

Animation of the Year

The night is short still

Director of the Year

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  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Before We Vanish)
  • Hirokazu Koreeda (The Third Murder)
  • Tetsuo Shinohara (Flower and Sword)
  • Masato Harada (Sekigahara)
  • Ryuichi Hiroki (Miracles of the Namiya General Store)

Best Screenplay

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  • Hirokazu Koreeda (The Third Murder)
  • Hiroshi Saito (Miracles of the Namiya General Store)
  • Yoshiko Morishita (Flower and Sword)
  • Yoji Yamada & Emiko Hiramatsu (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Tomoko Yoshida (Let Me Eat Your Pancreas)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

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  • Yo Oizumi (The Detective is in the Bar 3)
  • Junichi Okada (Sekigahara)
  • Takeru Satoh (The 8-year Engagement)
  • Masaki Suda (Wilderness)
  • Tatsuya Fujiwara (Memoirs of a Murderer)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

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Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

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  • Toshiyuki Nishida (Miracles of the Namiya General Store)
  • Masahiko Nishimura (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Ryuhei Matsuda (The Detective is in the Bar 3)
  • Nijiro Murakami (Mukoku)
  • Koji Yakusho (The Third Murder)
  • Koji Yakusho (Sekigahara)

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

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  • Machiko Ono (Miracles of the Namiya General Store)
  • Keiko Kitagawa (The Detective is in the Bar 3)
  • Yui Natsukawa (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Suzu Hirose (The Third Murder)
  • Hiroko Yakushimaru (The 8-Year Engagement)

Outstanding Achievement in Music

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  • Keiichi Suzuki (Outrage Coda)
  • Harumi Fuuki (Sekigahara)
  • Takatsugu Muramatsu (The 8-Year Engagement)
  • Ludovico Einaudi (The Third Murder)
  • JIN (Kiseki: Anohi no sobito)

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

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  • Tokusho Kikumura (Flower and Sword)
  • Kozo Shibasaki (Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura)
  • Takahide Shibanushi (Sekigahara)
  • Mikiya Takimoto (The Third Murder)
  • Masashi Chikamori (What a Wonderful Family! 2)

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction

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  • Tatsuya Osada (Flower and Sword)
  • Nariyuki Ueda (Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura)
  • Takaaki Miyanishi (Sekigahara)
  • Norikiyo Fujii (The Third Murder)
  • Koichi Watanabe (What a Wonderful Family! 2)

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

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  • Tomoko Kurata (Flower and Sword)
  • Tomoko Kurata & Hisayuki Kobayashi (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Anri Johjo (Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura)
  • Tetsuo Harada (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Tomoyuki Maruo & Rihito Nakagawa (Miracles of the Namiya General Store)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording

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  • Satoshi Ozaki (Flower and Sword)
  • Kazumi Kishida (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Yoshifumi Kureishi (Outrage Coda)
  • Kazuhiko Toyama (The Third Murder)
  • Masahito Yano (Sekigahara)

Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing

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  • Hirohide Abe (Flower and Sword)
  • Iwao Ishii (What a Wonderful Family! 2)
  • Takeshi Kitano & Yoshinori Ohta (Outrage Coda)
  • Hirokazu Koreeda (The Third Murder)
  • Eugene Harada (Sekigahara)

Newcomer of the Year 

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(awarded to all four nominees equally – announced along with nominations)

  • Ayami Nakajo (Let’s Go, Jets!)
  • Minami Hamabe (Let Me Eat Your Pancreas)
  • Takumi Kitamura (Let Me Eat Your Pancreas)
  • Ryoma Takeuchi (Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High)

Special Award of Honour from the Association

(Lifetime achievement awards – technical fields)

  • Etsuko Egawa (makeup & prosthetics)
  • Katsutoshi Osawa (art direction)
  • Midori Onuma (hair & makeup)
  • Hiroshi Koto (costumes)
  • Takefumi Yoshikawa (casting)

Special Award of Honour from the Chairman

(Lifetime achievement awards celebrating contribution to the film industry)

  • Kyoko Kagawa (actress)
  • Takashi Kawamata (cinematographer)
  • Masahiro Shinoda (director)
  • Kenichi Benitani (sound engineer)
  • Toshio Masuda (director)
  • Fujiko Yamamoto (actress)

Special Award from the Chairman 

(Lifetime achievement award presented to members of the film industry who passed away during 2017)

  • Iwao Otani (audio engineer)
  • Hiroki Matsukata (actor)
  • Tsunehiko Watase (actor)
  • Akira Hayasaka (screenwriter)

In Memoriam 

suzukiSeijun Suzuki (director) – As a previous recipient of the Special Award of Honour, Suzuki is ineligible for a second lifetime achievement award but his passing is marked with this special mention.

Popularity Award

(Top two movies nominated by an All Night Nippon audience poll)

Let Me Eat Your Pancreas

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Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High

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Source: Japan Academy Prize official website

Berlin International Film Festival to Screen River’s Edge, Grass, Yocho

River's edge still 1The Berlin International Film Festival returns with the 68th edition from 15 – 25th February. Long a champion of East Asian cinema, this year’s program arrives with a series of highly anticipated features including the latest from Isao Yukisada, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Hong Sang-soo.


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  • Amiko – 16 year old Amiko has left Nagano behind to look for the boyfriend who skipped out on her to go to Tokyo with another girl.
  • Blue Wind Blows – A small boy on Sado chases ghosts with the help of a bookish friend.
  • Minatomachi – Kazuhiro Soda’s latest documentary focusses on a declining fishing village.
  • Our House – Two women inhabit the same space in Yui Kiyohara’s eerie drama.
  • Ramen Teh – A Japanese ramen chef travels to Singapore after the death of his father to find out more about his Singaporean mother who died when he was only 10.
  • River’s Edge – A young man bullied because of his sexuality finds a dead body and investigates with the help of his best friend and confidant in the latest from Isao Yukisada.
  • Yocho (Foreboding) – Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s companion piece to Before We Vanish, Yocho is the story of an alien doctor and his Earthling wife.
  • Tokyo Boshoku (Tokyo Twilight) – In this restored classic from Yasujiro Ozu, a young woman copes with an unwanted pregnancy with the help of her sister who has returned home in flight from an alcoholic husband.
  • Yama – Attack to Attack – Intended as a document of the workers’ struggle, this 1985 documentary eventually cost both of its directors their lives at the hands of the yakuza whose corruption they hoped to expose.

Tribute to Keiko Sato

abnormal family still“Pink film” – independently made softcore erotica, is generally thought of as being a very male affair but one of its driving forces, Keiko Sato, was actually a woman and the festival will pay tribute to her with three films from her surprisingly diverse career as a producer.

  • Abnormal Family – Masayuki Suo’s only pink film takes the form of an Ozu pastiche centring on one very unusual family.
  • Gushing Prayer – Masao Adachi takes the pink film in a political direction through the story of a young woman on the quest to beat sex.
  • Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands – From the screenwriter of Branded to Kill, Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands follows a hitman on a surreal and noirish journey.


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  • Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time, and Human) – A senator and his son, a newly wed couple, a mysterious old man, a group of sex workers, and a violent gang all set off on a warship in Kim Ki-duk’s latest.
  • Grass – Kim Min-hee sits in a coffee shop and observes the world around her in another whimsical drama from Hong Sang-soo.
  • Last Child – After their son dies saving another child, the bereaved parents eventually bond with the boy he was trying to save though all is not as it seems.
  • Old Love – A woman returns to Korea from Canada and re-encounters an old flame.


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  • 14 Apples – Midi Z’s documentary follows a businessman on a 14 day sojourn as a monk.
  • Xiao Mei – A ordinary shop girl disappears leaving only confusion and mystery behind her.


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  • Die Tomorrow – Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit follows a collection of people through their last day.


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  • Sekala Niskala (The Seen and Unseen) The second film from Kamila Andini, The Seen and Unseen follows one half of a pair of twins as she deals with the deteriorating health of her brother…

The Berlin International Film Festival takes place from February 15 – 25 at venues across the city. Ticket sales begin 12th February via the official website and you can keep up with all the latest details via the festival’s Facebook Page, Twitter account, YouTube and Instagram Channels.