The GRAND JURY PRIZE is awarded to the feature selected as the best film among this year’s festival offerings. Films are reviewed by an Official Jury made up of film makers, film professionals, writers and educators. The winning film-maker is awarded with a certificate and a cash prize of 100,000 Japanese yen.
2020 GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FILM WINNER ANNOUNCED
We are pleased to announce director Renpei Tsukamoto’s BENTO HARASSMENT今日も嫌がらせ弁当 is the winner of the Kobayashi Audience Choices Award. A favourite with foodies and families it moved audiences to laughter and tears. Congratulations.
We are pleased to announce the winner and runners-up of our 2020 GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FILM.
# 1 VOICES IN THE WIND『風の電話』
An often profoundly moving exploration of loss, remembrance and resilience – Jason Anderson
#2 THE JOURNALIST『新聞記者』
“Story, plot, cinematography, actors, all the elements of the film were wonderful. I have been following the Michihito Fujii’s work for a while and he impresses me every time. The entertainment that has a social issue aspect, a great film” – Eiko Brown
#3 ONE NIGHT『ひとよ』
“One Night is upsetting, difficult, passionate, and unflinchingly honest about a family dealing with the aftermath of abuse and tragedy. From the opening sequence where a wife kills her abusive husband with a car to protect her children to the final car crash, One Night kept me on the edge of my seat. The thing I found most impressive about this film is that it never gave easy answers to difficult questions. Instead, it showed how the pain of the past never really leaves us and that despite our good intentions we often transfer our own pain to our loved ones and our children. This is not an easy movie to watch but it is a very powerful one.” - Steve Morris
The festival closes on October 22 so there is still time to catch up with these and the other 19 titles in our 2020 edition at https://torontojff.jccc.on.ca/ We would like to thank jurors Jason Anderson, Eiko K Brown, Goro Koyama, Steve Morris and Takumi Saitoh for lending us their time, experience and expertise in making these selections.
This year’s jury is comprised of :
JASON ANDERSON is a programmer, journalist and lecturer based in Toronto. He is the lead programmer for the Short Cuts programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. He is also the director of programming for Aspen Shortsfest and the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. A former film critic and columnist for Eye Weekly and The Grid in Toronto, he writes regularly for such publications as Uncut magazine, Cinema Scope, Sight & Sound and Movie Entertainment. He teaches at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. Follow Jason at: https://twitter.com/jandersonesque and https://jandersonesque.com/.
EIKO K BROWN is a filmmaker and producer based in Toronto and a jury coordinator at the Toronto Japanese Film Festival since 2018. Alongside her good friend Alice Shin, Eiko has co-produced the award-winning Canadian short films Haru’s New Year (2018) and Signal Fire (2019). Recently, the two have filmed a short documentary about the artist Emma Nishimura for CBC Arts, and are grateful for the help they received from the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre at JCCC. Eiko’s full credits are included on the website for Alice Shin Productions: http://aliceshin.com/.
GORO KOYAMA is an internationally acclaimed foley artist who has contributed the soundscapes to films by Terrance Malik, Denis Villeneuve, Tim Burton, David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, David Cronenberg and the Coen Brothers. His over 200 film credits include: Blade Runner 2049, Bombshell, Ford vs Ferrari, Marriage Story, The Lighthouse; Japanese films including Unforgiven and Parasyte and popular series such as Vikings and A Handmaid’s Tale. Goro has received a number of sound awards including Canadian screen awards, Golden Reel Awards and a Prime Time Emmy Award. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0468704/ and https://always-listening.audio-technica.co.jp/articles/goro-koyama/.
STEVE MORRIS is an independent filmmaker with 20 years of experience in producing, writing, directing and post production. He has worked on independent films, documentaries, shorts, sit-coms and music videos. Steve teaches directing at the New York Film Academy and is well-known as the host of the wildly popular Cine-Files podcast. Learn more about Steve at: https://twitter.com/cine_files%20and%20www.cine-files.net.
TAKUMI SAITOH is a prolific actor, director and student of film. His recent work includes Hirugao (2017) A Gamblers Odyssey 2020 (2019), MANRIKI (2019) (producer, director, lead role), Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (2020), Tapestry (2020), The 12 Days Tale Of The Monster That Died in 8 (2020) and Kodokuna Jukuji (2020). As a film director and black and white photographer, he directed his debut film blank 13 (2018) which received 8 awards domestically and internationally. In that same year, his black and white photography project received the bronze award at an exhibition at the Louvre Museum in Paris. For the past 2 years, he has worked and received various awards as the Japanese representative director on international projects for HBO Asia. The film COMPLY+-ANCE, on which he served as producer, director, cinematographer, actor, voice actor, screenplay and original story, was officially screened in the Panorama Section of the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival. He also directed C•RONAPLY+-ANCE (2020). In 2021 he stars in Shin Ultraman and his next project as a director, Zokki will be released. Takumi’s professional career expands to many fields such as a founder of the Cinemabird, a project to deliver cinematic experiences to people living in remote areas of Japan, including the disaster-stricken areas by The Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. https://www.saitoh-takumi.jp/home/.
The KOBAYASHI AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD is presented to the film chosen as the festival favourite by audiences. The award is named in honour of Coby and Yone Kobayashi, a second-generation Nikkei couple whose vision, generosity and tireless efforts over 50 years were essential to the creation and success of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. This year input will be gathered virtually. Check our website for more details.
Winners of the Kobayashi Audience Choice Award
2019 – Dance with Me
2018 – blank 13
2017 – Her Love Boils Bathwater
2016 – Flying Colors
2015 – Wood Job!
2014 – The Eternal Zero
2013 – Being Born
2012 – Rebirth
Winners of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film
2019 - Born Bone Born
2018 – The Scythian Lamb
2017 – In This Corner of the World
2016 – Being Good
2015 – My Man
2014 – Pecoross’ Mother and Her Days