France’s ‘Softie’ and Japan’s ‘Double Life’ Win Top Prizes at Skip City Film Festival

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The Skip City International D-Cinema Festival in outer Tokyo wrapped its 19th edition on Sunday with prizes going to “Softie, by French director Samuel Theis, and “Double Life,” by female Chinese director Enen Yo in the separate Japanese film competition.

The festival, long a launch pad for emerging Japanese and world filmmakers, held in-person screenings July 16-24, 2022, at venues in Kawaguchi, and an online segment July 21-27.

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“Softie” received the Grand Prize in the international competition. “Magnetic Beats,” directed by Vincent Mael Cardona, won the best director, while “Utama,” directed by Alejandro Loayza Grisi, received Special Jury Prize in the same section. In addition, “Her Way” directed by Cecile Ducrocq, was chosen for the Audience Award.

Journey director Kiriu Shogo at Skip City FF. - Credit: Courtesy of Skip City FF.
Journey director Kiriu Shogo at Skip City FF. - Credit: Courtesy of Skip City FF.

Courtesy of Skip City FF.

The Skip City Award, which is selected from all Japanese films both in the international competition and the Japanese film competition, was given to a Musashino Art University graduation film, “Journey,” directed by Kiriu Shogo.

While “Double Life,” scooped feature length award in the Japanese competition, a black-and-white animation, “3 Intestine, Fish Island,” picked up the short film award.

The Audience Award for a feature film went to “Vata,” a Japanese film that was shot entirely in Madagascar and directed by Kamei Takeshi.

The international competition jury was headed by Terajima Shinobu, winner of the best actress silver bear at the 2010 Berlinale for her performance in Wakamatsu Koji’s WWII drama “Caterpillar.” The president of the Japanese film competition jury was cinematographer Ashizawa Akiko.

Launched in 2004 to showcase films shot in the then-new digital format, Skip City has since shifted its focus to features and shorts by up-and-coming filmmakers. Among past winners who moved on to major careers are three-times Cannes best director honoree Nuri Bilge Ceylan, as well as Japanese directors Shiraishi Kazuya (“Blood of Wolves”), Nakano Ryota (“The Asadas”) and Ueda Shinichiro (“One Cut of the Dead”).

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