Toronto Japanese Film Festival Announces 2015 Award Winners


Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s MY MAN and Shinobu Yaguchi’s WOOD JOB! take Major Awards at 2015 Toronto Japanese Film Festival.

Masato Harada’s KAKEKOMI also Honoured

 The 4th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival closed June 26 with a sold-out North American premiere Masayuki Suo’s LADY MAIKO. Suo and actress Tamiyo Kusakari, both of Shall We Dance? fame were in attendance to introduce the film. The 500+ capacity crowd gave the film and its stars a standing ovation.

Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s MY MAN was selected the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2015. Masato Harada’s KAKEKOMI finished a very close 2nd and was awarded Special Mention. Shinobu Yaguchi’s WOOD JOB! received the festival’s Kobayashi Audience Choice Award.

The Grand Prize Jury included director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story, Snow White Murder Case), CBC Metro Morning’s Film Critic Karen Gordon, Tokyo-based film professional Ian MacDougall, Joanna Miles, Marketing VP eOne Films and Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival director Kristine Estorninos.

Director Masato Harada offered the following comments on the festival:

“The Toronto Japanese Film Festival is quickly becoming the most important window of Japanese cinema toward the world. The selection is impeccable covering the trend of Japanese cinema. Everything was well organized and the passion and enthusiasm among the volunteer staff members and audiences was evident at every corner of the JCCC building I felt my film was able reach out far beyond Japanese audiences. The dynamic of the international film festival was there. This is a place we, the Japanese film-makers, can look for the future of Japanese cinema.”

The 2015 festival attracted 7000 visitors for 19 films including the International premiere of Masato Harada’s KAKEKOMI and North American and/or Canadian premieres of Takashi Koizumi’s A SAMURAI CHRONICLE, Daihachi Yoshida’s PALE MOON, Shinobu Yaguchi’s WOOD JOB!, Ryuichi Hiroki’s HER GRANDDAUGHTER, Setsuro Wakamatsu’s SNOW ON THE BLADES and Momoko Ando’s 0.5MM. Yuya Ishii’s THE VANCOUVER ASAHI also made its Toronto debut in front of many of the families of the original Asahi players.

The Toronto Japanese Film festival is dedicated to showcasing the finest Japanese films that have been recognized for excellence by Japanese audiences and critics, international film festival audiences and the Japanese Film Academy.  The festival also features musical performances, arts exhibitions and lectures.

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