“Snow Leopard,” the family drama directed by the late Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, has clinched the prestigious Tokyo Grand Prix, the top honor at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Scroll down to discover the complete list of victors.
The film, also vying for three Asia Pacific Screen Awards, delves into the intricate dilemma faced by a rural family when they must decide whether to eliminate a snow leopard that intruded into their home and claimed the lives of nine sheep. The film’s full synopsis unveils a mesmerizing narrative set in a mountain village where white leopards roam freely, exploring the mystical rapport between humans and animals through the enchanting interaction of a young Tibetan monk and a leopard.
Pema Tseden, a filmmaker of Chinese citizenship widely celebrated as a leading figure in the Tibetan-language cinema scene, had been working on “Snow Leopard” and another project before his untimely passing at the age of 53 in May. While the cause of his death remained undisclosed, unverified Chinese media reports suggested it was due to a heart attack.
Among Tseden’s notable credits is “Jinpa,” produced by Wong Kar Wai, which earned the distinction of Best Screenplay when it premiered in the Horizons section at the Venice Film Festival in 2018.
The Tokyo Grand Prix accolade comes with a substantial 3 million yen cash reward. In other categories, “Tatami,” directed by Zar Amir and Guy Nattiv, claimed the Special Jury Prize, accompanied by a 500,000 yen cash prize, and also secured the Best Actress award for Zar Amir. The film, which made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, recounts the story of a judo athlete and her coach compelled by Iranian authorities to withdraw from a match against an Israeli athlete.
The Best Director award was bestowed upon Japanese filmmaker Kishi Yoshiyuki for “Abnormal Desire,” one of the three Japanese films in competition at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Iranian actor Yasna Mirtahmasb clinched the Best Actor award for his role in “Roxana.”
Over a span of ten days, predominantly set within the luxurious cultural enclave of Hibiya-Ginza, the Tokyo Film Festival screened a total of 219 films and welcomed 74,841 attendees, signifying an increase from the 59,541 attendees in the previous year, which featured 174 films. Notably, 38 out of the 219 films, comprising 22.4% of the lineup, were directed by women.
The Tokyo International Film Festival concluded with the world premiere of “Godzilla Minus One,” directed by Japanese filmmaker Takashi Yamazaki.
Here’s the full roster of award winners:
- Tokyo Grand Prix / The Governor of Tokyo Award: “Snow Leopard” – 3 million yen
- Special Jury Prize: “Tatami” – 500,000 yen
- Best Director: Kishi Yoshiyuki for “Abnormal Desire” – 300,000 yen
- Best Actress: Zar Amir for “Tatami” – 300,000 yen
- Best Actor: Yasna Mirtahmasb for “Roxana” – 300,000 yen
- Best Artistic Contribution: “A Long Shot” – 300,000 yen
- Audience Award: “Abnormal Desire”
- Asian Future Best Film Award: “Maria” – 1 million yen
- Amazon Prime Video Take One Award: Yang Liping for “Gone with the Wind” – 1 million yen
- Amazon Prime Video Take One Award Special Jury Prize: Yasumura Emi for “Be Prepared” – 500,000 yen