Winners of the 19th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection


We present the list of winners of the Japanese Film Fetival Nippon Connection which took place from May 28th – June 2nd, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Nippon Cinema Award
Fly me to the Saitama

Fly Me To The Saitama by Hideki Takeuchi – Japan | 2019 – 107 minutes

Momomi, the son of Tokyo’s governor, often told he looks like a girl, falls in love with the mysterious Rei. Soon Momomi has to decide between his family and Rei. The latest extravagant adaptation of the eponymous manga plays like Romeo and Juliet on speed with added sugar frosting and high octane action.


Nippon Vision Audience Award

Melancholic by Seiji Tanaka – Japan | 2018 – 113 minutes

After graduating from a prestigious university, Kazuhiko finds himself working as a janitor at the local bathhouse. His job turns out to be much more thrilling than expected when Kazuhiko discovers that his colleague is a hitman and the bathhouse serves as a body disposal. Switching between several genres, like coming of age, crime, or black comedy, Seiji TANAKA delivers an outstanding feature debut.


Nippon Vision Jury Award

Sea by Kensei Takahashi – Japan | 2018 – 80 minutes

As a teenager, Hiroshi witnessed the rape of his classmate Rie by two class bullies. When he meets them again a few years later, he snaps. Those two events provide the basis for a fragmented portrait of a reclusive loner trying to cope with his past. Kensei TAKAHASHI’s debut deals with complex issues of guilt and atonement and condemns a patriarchal society where perpetrators act like victims.


Nippon Vision Jury Award (Special Mention)
Blue Hour

Blue Hour by Yuko Hakota – Japan | 2019 – 92 minutes

Trying to escape the frustrations in her life, Sunada decides to go on a road trip to her old hometown with her best friend. But reuniting with her family opens old wounds. In impressionist images and with a strong subjective touch, Yuko HAKOTA finds an intimate approach to her characters, while reflecting on the challenges and promises of human relationships.


Nippon Docs Awards

Sending Off by Ian Thomas Ash – Japan | 2019 – 79 minutes

SENDING OFF follows the patients of Dr. Kaoru KONTA and her team of nurses as they provide hospice care to patients in their homes in rural Japan. A special focus is directed at the deepening relationships the patients form with their families as they reach the end of their lives. Sometimes difficult to watch, the film challenges us to think about how we live our own lives and how we would like to die.


Nippon Honor Award
Shinya Tsukamoto
Director, actor, writer, cameraman, editor and producer Shinya TSUKAMOTO will receive the NIPPON HONOR AWARD at the 19th NIPPON CONNECTION Film Festival. The award ceremony will take place during the closing ceremony on June 2, 2019 at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. Apart from presenting three of his films, TETSUO: THE IRON MAN, TOKYO FIST and his most recent film, KILLING, Shinya TSUKAMOTO will also provide insights into his career during our filmmakers’ talk on Sunday, June 2 at 2:30 pm.

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