Snow Leopard

Pema Tseden’s ‘Snow Leopard’ Takes Grand Prix At Tokyo Film Festival 

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Snow Leopard, directed by late Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, was awarded with the Tokyo Grand Prix at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 23-Nov 1). 

Set on the Tibetan plateau, the film is told through the eyes of a local television crew director and his former schoolmate, a monk passionate about photography. While the monk’s brother wants to kill a snow leopard that has killed nine of his sheep, the monk and a local policeman want to save the animal. 

Snow Leopard premiered at last year’s Venice film festival and also screened in Toronto. The Tokyo Grand Prix prize comes with a cash prize of $20,300 (JPY3m).  

Meanwhile, Tatami, directed by Iranian filmmakers Zar Amir and Guy Nattiv, was awarded the Special Jury Prize, which comes with a cash prize of $3,400 (JPY500,000). The film, which also won best actress for Zar Amir’s performance, follows a judo athlete and her coach who are forced by the Iranian authorities to withdraw from a match against an Israeli athlete.

The Best Director award went to Japanese filmmaker Kishi Yoshiyuki for (Ab)normal Desire, one of three Japanese films in competition at the festival this year, which also picked up the Audience Award. Best actor went to Yasna Mirtahmasb for his role in Iranian filmmaker Parviz Shahbazi’s Roxana

The competition jury was headed by Wim Wenders, whose Cannes title Perfect Days played as the opening film of the festival, while his fellow jury members included Albert Serra, Kunizane Mizue, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc and Zhao Tao.

Toho’s Godzilla Minus One, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, played as the closing film of the festival on November 1. The TIFFCOM contents market was held October 23-25. 

Tokyo International Film Festival 2023:

Tokyo Grand Prix: Snow Leopard, dir: Pema Tseden

Special Jury Prize: Tatami, dirs: Zar Amir & Guy Nattiv

Best Director: Kishi Yoshiyuki, (Ab)normal Desire

Best Actress: Zar Amir, Tatami

Best Actor: Yasna Mirtahmasb, Roxana

Best Artistic Contribution: A Long Shot, dir: Gao Peng

Audience Award: (Ab)normal Desire, dir: Kishi Yoshiyuki

Asian Future Best Film Award: Maria, dir: Mahdi Asghari Azghadi

Amazon Prime Video Take One Award: Yang Liping, Gone With The Wind

Amazon Prime Video Take One Award Special Jury Prize: Yasumura Emi, Be Prepared