Co-Presented by 36th TIFF & Prime Video Amazon Prime Video Take One Award Finalists Announced
The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is pleased to announce the Amazon Prime Video Take One Award Finalists, whose work will premiere at the 36th TIFF. As part of an initiative to discover and nurture new talent, TIFF partnered in 2021 with Prime Video, which produces and distributes a diverse range of excellent original works in Japan and abroad.
The award recognizes short films (15 minutes or less) by filmmakers living in Japan who have never participated in the production of commercial films as a director, scriptwriter or producer.
The two-month submission period for the Amazon Prime Video Take One Awards yielded 143 submissions (up from 83 last year). After a rigorous screening process, the eight films below have been selected as this year’s finalists.
The films will be screened on October 23 (Mon), the opening day of this year’s TIFF, from 11:30 am at TOHO Cinemas Chanter. The award winner will be announced at the TIFF Closing Ceremony on November 1 (Wed).
Filmmaker YUKISADA Isao will once again serve as jury president, and the other jury members are TAMASHIRO Tina (Actor), ASHIZAWA Akiko (Cinematographer), MORISHIGE Akira (Producer), and TOISHI Noriko (Producer, Amazon Studio).
The winner will receive a cash prize of one million yen from Prime Video, plus the opportunity to explore the production of a feature film with Amazon Studios and work on script development.
Join us as we discover new talent in Tokyo and take it to the world.
Two Kids in the Window by Sakamoto Kensho
A 10-year-old boy, Ren, has a half-sister, Akane. His mother, Natsuki, ignores the existence of Akane, who is not related to her by blood, and dotes on Ren. One morning, Ren and Akane leave the house without Natsuki noticing. Their ordinary day turns into a special escape…
Profile After entering Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Sakamoto made some independent films while studying international relations. After graduating, he enrolled in the Directing Course of the Department of Film Production at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts.
Girls Bravo by Kiguchi Kenta
Yamazaki tries to live right in a repressed world. She begins to take action to find a solution she has not yet seen. A chain of implausible events ensues. Kaneda reaches out to her. Will she prove to be Yamazaki’s salvation?
Profile Born in Ibaragi, Japan in 1988. Kiguchi made his acting debut at the age of 23, and has starred in more than 20 films including Onna-no-ko Kirai (2015), Sharing (2016), Nariyuki-na Tamashii (2017), Kairai, Zubunurete Inukoro (2018), Ginpeicho Cinema Blues (2023). He is an actor who excels in sensitive roles. Girls Bravo is his directorial debut.
Sun & Moon by Okamoto Tao
A half-brother and sister meet for the first time in 30 years at their father’s funeral. Having grown up separately, will the long-standing gap between them still be unbridgeable? As they pass each other and return to their respective lives, they feel a sense of parental love at the moment of parting.
Profile Born in Chiba, Japan in 1985, Okamoto made her modeling debut at the age of 14 under the name TAO and had her first film appearance at 27, where she played the lead role in Wolverine: SAMURAI (2013). Since then, she has graced the screen in major productions like Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and has also appeared in independent films. Furthermore, she appeared in notable television series and films, both domestically in Japan and internationally, including “Westworld” (HBO) and “Hanibal” (NBC).
In addition to her acting career, she ventured into writing, producing, and directing, with the release of Sun & Moon in 2023.
Dignifiedly by Hirata Yuki
Akane, a high school student, has always worn round, gold-rimmed glasses. One day, her boyfriend Kazuki asks her, “Why don’t you wear contact lenses?” and Akane is hurt by his words.
Profile Born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1999.
After graduating from Nihon University College of Art with a BFA in film directing, Hirata went on to the Directing Course of the Department of Film Production at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts. He is currently studying under Suwa Nobuhiro and Shiota Akihiko.
His short film Megane to Hiroi Sekai was selected for the Shibuya TANPEN Film Festival 2022-23 and screened at Euro Live in Shibuya. Hatachi no Yoru (starring Maeda Oshiro), which was produced through Office Kiryu’s project competition “20-sai”, was released at the Ikebukuro Cinema Rosa in July 2023.
Gone with the Wind by Yang Liping
A young lady whose suitcase has been stolen while traveling alone in Paris develops a crush on a homeless man down the street.
Profile After graduating from Japan Institute of the Moving Images, Yang enrolled in the Directing Course of the Department of Film Production at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, where he is currently studying under Kurokawa Kiyoshi, Suwa Nobuhiro, and Shiota Akihiko.
Be Prepared by Yasumura Emi
Mika, Mayuko, Kyoko and Shoko, who have known each other since high school, come to Yugawara for their first short trip in a while. But for some reason, they find themselves in an ambush to catch Mika’s husband having an affair.
Profile Yasumura works as a director, mainly for TV dramas, advertisements, and music videos. Her short film, Wao (2020), was selected for Fantasia International Film Festival, LA Shorts International Film Festival, and others. She was selected as one of the “100 Filmmakers 2023”. Pop artwork and fantastic visual expressions are her specialty.
Trash and Flower (short ver.) by Ohguro Tomoya
Koichi quits his job as a pilot in the Self-Defense Forces for his mental health and takes a new job as a garbage collector. Working alongside instructor Hana, he is responsible for late-night garbage collection. They encounter various reactions from people around them, from criticism to indifference.
Profile Born in Ehime, Japan in 1987. After graduating from Japan Institute of the Moving Image’s Department of Film, Oguro entered the film industry as a directing department member. He has worked as an assistant director for Japan’s leading directors such as Nakata Hideo, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and Miike Takashi, and has worked on many films and TV dramas.
Talk to Me by Jimmy Ming Shum
Fumi lives alone in a big city, longing for connection. Unexpectedly, a call from a sad stranger changes both their worlds.
Profile Born in Hong Kong, Jimmy embarked on a seven-year educational journey in the United States, where he honed his skills in photography and filmmaking. Over the years, he has garnered recognition as a renowned photographer/commercial director in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and has received many awards and media coverage. In 2016, seeking fresh inspiration and new opportunities, he relocated his creative base to Tokyo.