These are the winners of the 22nd Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival which took place from May 24 – 29, 2022 in Frankfurt. The festival will continue online until June 6, 2022 on watch.nipponconnection.com/en.
Nippon Cinema Award
At the age of 12, Masashi discovers his passion for photography and starts taking unusual portraits of his family members. His talent is undisputed, but his ego hinders his career. Only after the 2011 earthquake does he find a new path in his life. Ryota NAKANO’s heartwarming film was inspired by the photo books of renowned photographer Masashi ASADA. (Nippon Connection 2022)
Nippon Visions Jury Award
Ai has had a crush forever on her classmate Tatoe. When she finds out that Tatoe is in a secret relationship with another girl, she sets out to sabotage their plans for the future. Avoiding gender clichés, young director Rin SHUTO presents an unusual and complex high school drama based on a novel by Risa WATAYA. (Nippon Connection 2022)
Nippon Visions Audience Award
Since a severe motorcycle accident, Shunsaku has been paralyzed from the neck down and has lost the desire to live. However, the blind caregiver Hanae helps him look at his situation differently. A touching love story develops that explores questions of freedom and hope. Keita FUJIMOTO’s debut film features NIPPON HONOR AWARD winner Masatoshi NAGASE. (Nippon Connection 2022)
Nippon Docs Award
Ozan and Ramazan were displaced from their homeland and came to Japan as children. They are two Turkish Kurds who are considered illegal aliens by the authorities but continue to apply for refugee status in order to work. Filmmaker Fumiari HYUGA provides an insight into the precarious living situation of young migrants suffering under Japan’s rigid immigration laws. (Nippon Connection 2022)
Nippon Honor Award
Masatoshi Nagase, born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1966, started acting while still in high school. After his graduation, he starred in various TV series. He has since participated in more than 100 films by such directors as Gakuryu ISHII, Shinji AOYAMA, Yoji YAMADA and others. For his role in Naomi KAWASE’s SWEET BEAN (2015), he received the award as Best Actor at the 37th Yokohama Film Festival.