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Nippon Connection Film Festival Ends With Celebration


















After five exciting days, the twelfth edition of the Japanese film festival Nippon Connection closed on Sunday. More than 16,000 visitors watched 142 short and feature films and also came to 34 cultural events, resulting in many sold out screenings, lectures, workshops, and performances. With the award ceremony, the final day of the festival saw a crowning highlight.

This year’s NIPPON CINEMA AWARD went to THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN by Shuichi OKITA, a comedy about film-making and an unusual friendship. The audience elected its favourite from 18 films in the competition. For the eighth time already, the award – endowed with 2,000 € – was sponsored by Bankhaus Metzler.

In the competition for the NIPPON VISIONS AWARD, the international jury was convinced by the intense visual expression and atmosphere of the touching family drama THE SOUND OF LIGHT by Juichiro YAMASAKI. The award was presented for the third time in cooperation with our partners from Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA), who will provide a free subtitling for the director’s next film. Jury members Chris MaGee (Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow / Shinsedai Cinema Festival), director Yonghi YANG, and Andreas Platthaus (FAZ) also expressed an honorary mention for the documentary FUKUSHIMA: MEMORIES OF A LOST LANDSCAPE by Yojyu MATSUBAYASHI, who depicts the hardships that befell the victims of the triple disaster of March 2011.

In addition, Nippon Connection 2012 also saw the premiere of the VGF NIPPON IN MOTION AWARD. In cooperation with the Public Transport Office of the City of Frankfurt, the festival had made a call for films that should not be longer than twelve seconds and should convey their message without sound under the motto of “Nippon in Motion”. Fans voted on Facebook and chose “Koi-Man” by Micaela Fonseca from Portugal as the winner. Her stop motion-animation with origami figures based on the classic video game Pac-Man brought her a cheque of 250 €.

The closing film of the night and thus of the festival was OUR HOMELAND by Yonghi YANG, a film which has already been awarded at this year’s Berlinale and which was introduced by the director in person. In her feature film debut, YANG – of Korean descent – transforms her own childhood memories into a moving family story.


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