Press Release June 9, 2015

Award Ceremony at 15th Nippon Connection Film Festival
Drama about samurai actor and two documentary films awarded

After six days with more than 100 Japanese films and many new impressions, the 15th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection in Frankfurt am Main ended on 7 June 2015. The diverse anniversary program found favor with almost 16,000 visitors. Many film screenings, concerts, and workshops were sold out – a source of great satisfaction for more than 60 filmmakers and artists who had come all the way from Japan and who visibly enjoyed the personal contact with the German audience. The award ceremony at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm was the final event of the festival.

This year‘s Nippon Cinema Award (an audience award) went to Uzumasa Limelight by Ken Ochiai. This feature film about an aging samurai actor gave an entertaining glimpse into the Japanese film industry. The award is endowed with 2,000 EUR and was sponsored by Bankhaus Metzler from Frankfurt for the tenth time.

The Nippon Visions Audience Award went to the documentary film -1287 by Ian Thomas Ash. The intimate and very personal portrait of a woman with terminal cancer inspires its viewers to think about their priorities in life. The award is endowed with 1,000 EUR and was sponsored for the second time by Japanisches Kulturzentrum Frankfurt. Ian Thomas Ash received the award in person, together with his father Gerald Ash, the producer of the film. The director, who has been living in Japan for many years, has already won the Nippon Visions Award in 2013 with his film A2-B-C.

The winner of the Nippon Visions Jury Award is young director Sho Miyake. In his documentary film The Cockpit he observes the creative process of the development of a hip hop song in a small apartment in Tokyo. The jury, consisting of renowned directors Ryuichi Hiroki and Kazuyoshi Kumakiri as well as the director of the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Tokitoshi Shiota, emphasized that within the limited space the film evoked the feeling of great possibilities, skillfully transmitting the energy and vitality of the young musicians. The award is donated by Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) from Tokyo, who will sponsor the subtitling for the director’s next film project.
A special mention was given to two films in the Nippon Visions section: the pink film Treasure Ship: Latitudes of Lust by Koichiro Ikawa convinced the jury with its excellent script and its creative implementation. Dual City by Yokna Hasegawa impressed with its determined approach to depict a futuristic sci-fi scenario not as an anime, but as a live action movie. Both filmmakers attended the award ceremony.

The closing film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter by David Zellner was screened after the award ceremony. Next year, Nippon Connection will go into its 16th round. The date is already scheduled for 24 to 29 May 2016, when Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and the Theater Willy Praml in der Naxoshalle will once more turn into a center for Japanese cinema.

About the festival
The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection is realized under the patronage of Peter Feldmann, Mayor of the City of Frankfurt, and Hideyuki Sakamoto, Consul General of Japan in Frankfurt am Main. Since the year 2000, it has been organized on a voluntary basis by the members of the non-profit Nippon Connection association.

Further Information

Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Waldschmidtstrasse 4, Frankfurt-Bornheim (festival center)
Theater Willy Praml in der Naxoshalle, Waldschmidtstrasse 19, Frankfurt-Bornheim (festival center)
German Film Museum, Schaumainkai 41, Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen (Nippon Retro)
Mal Seh’n Cinema, Adlerflychtstrasse 6, Frankfurt-Nordend (encore screenings)
Die Käs, Waldschmidtstrasse 19, Frankfurt-Bornheim
GDA Wohnstift am Zoo, Waldschmidtstrasse 6, Frankfurt-Bornheim
Ausstellungsraum Eulengasse, Seckbacher Landstrasse 16, Frankfurt-Bornheim (exhibition)