34th Tokyo International Film Festival – Awards 2021

We present the winners of the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival which took place from October 30th – November 8th, 2021.


Tokyo Grand Prix | The Governor of Tokyo Award

Vera Dreams of the Sea by Kalttrina Krasniqi
Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo | 2021 – 87 minutes

After her husband’s suicide, Vera learns that her house has been mortgaged due to gambling. Debut from Kosovo filmmaker portrays a woman protesting against male-dominated society. (TIFF 2021)


Special Jury Prize

La Civil by Teodora Ana Mihai – Belgium, Romania, Mexico | 2021 – 135 minutes

In search of her missing daughter, who is entangled in organized crime, Cielo witnesses a horrifying reality… Dardenne brothers produced this Romanian director’s film, shot in Mexico.


Award for Best Director

Darezhan Omirbaev for Poet – Kazakstan | 2021 – 105 minutes

Didar, an unrecognized poet, contemplates a rebellious 19th-century poet, executed by the authorities… New film by a leader of Kazakh cinema deals with the difficulty of art in today’s world.


Award for Best Actress

Julia Chávez for The Other Tom (dir. Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo)
Mexico, USA | 2021 – 111 minutes

Elena raises her ADHD-afflicted son by herself, refusing to give him medication because of her anxiety over side effects. But this decision raises questions about her competence.


Award for Best Actor

Amir Aghaee, Fatih Al Baris Yildiz, Onur Buldu for The Four Walls (dir. Bahman Ghobadi)
Turkey | 2021 – 114 minutes

Kurdish composer Boran is no longer able to see the ocean, obstructed by a new building, and a tragedy befalls him… An intense human drama by the Turtles Can Fly director.


Award for Best Artistic Contribution

Crane Lantern by Hilal Baydarov – Azerbaijan | 2021 – 101 minutes

Winner of Tokyo FILMeX2020 Grand Prize with In Between Dying presents his new film, featuring dialogues between an imprisoned kidnapper and a law student, set against a beautiful landscape.


Audience Award

Jury Remembering by Matsui Daigo – Japan | 2021 – 115 minutes

A former couple remembers their most intimate days, only to part once again. A bittersweet love story inspired by a Jim Jarmusch masterpiece, set in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Special Mention

Jury Remembering by Matsui Daigo – Japan | 2021 – 115 minutes

Asian Future

Asian Future Best Film Award

World, Northern, Hemisphere by Hossein Tehrani – Iran | 2021 – 81 minutes

14-year-old Ahmad is the breadwinner for his fatherless family. At his mother’s request, they rent a farm, but human bones are found, disturbing their plan. A challenging debut feature.


Amazon Prime Video Take One Award

Sunday & Calm Sea by Kim Yunsoo
Akiko and Koichi decide to get divorced. Their friend Miura visits them, carrying a billiards cue. The billiards hall, a man in a red jersey, canned beer drinking and reminiscences on a Saturday night.

Special Jury Prize

Sangoumi Midori for Under the Bridge
Osanai Mami, who has cancer, happens to see a colleague one day. Kanda has changed completely, lost his memory and become homeless. The two, who live in such different ways, reunite overnight.

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