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11 Asian films were awarded at the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival

Six Korean and five Japanese films were awarded at the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival which is taking place from July 14 until August 3, 2022 in Montreal, Canada.

Best Director Award (Cheval Noir Competition)

July Jung for Next Sohee – South Korea | 2022 – 135 minutes

Young Sohee (Kim Si-eun) is a bubbly, tenacious high-school student with a fiery temperament living in rural Korea. She has chosen a labour-market-oriented education and enters a paid employment programme with high hopes. Her school motivates her to sign a contract with a call centre that abuses its trainees with the promise of non-existent bonuses, pushing them to use highly unfair techniques. Sohee is constantly yelled at, even receiving threats and obscenities, but when her overworked supervisor takes his own life, she begins a psychological descent that will lead her to commit an irreparable act. Detective Yoo-jin (Bae Doona) is in charge of the investigation. Impassive, temperamental, and unwilling to follow orders, what she discovers about the events that led to Sohee’s suicide eventually gets to her. Her crusade against all those who get rich off vulnerable teenage girls becomes personal. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Best Screenplay Award (Cheval Noir Competition)

Kôsuke Mukai and Yuki Tanada for My Broken Mariko (dir. Yuki Tanada) – Japan | 2022 – 85 minutes

Tomoyo Shiino is enjoying her lunch hour, listening to the news. When she hears that a woman named Mariko has jumped from the fifth floor, she panics. Could it be her childhood friend? Unfortunately, it is her. Her memories are jumbled and when she learns that the ashes are at the home of Mariko’s father, who beat her throughout her youth and sexually assaulted her during her adolescence, she explodes. Tomoyo rushes in and snatches the urn containing her BFF’s remains from her at knifepoint, seizing the moment to berate him with all her might. Caught up in a constant whirlwind of memories, she decides to take the deceased to the beach, as she had always wanted. Tomoyo’s introspective journey begins badly. A motorcyclist steals her bag with all her belongings and the countless letters Mariko wrote to her. As a result, her memory becomes less and less selective. Resentment and guilt come to the funeral. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Special Jury Mention for Best Stunts

Special Delivery by Park Dae-min – South Korea | 2022 – 109 minutes

If you need to get a package from one place to another, and the postal service won’t touch it, who do you turn to? To Jang Eun-ha and her sketchy boss Baek, that’s who. As a sideline to Baek’s junkyard business, he brokers special deliveries—anything, anywhere, any which way. Getting there is the task of Jang, an ace driver of unmatched sangfroid. She may not be as cold-blooded as she likes to think, though. When a former baseball player lands himself in hot water with gangsters, she finds his son Seo-won in the backseat of her car, with the key to a corrupt cop’s illicit funds in his pocket and a swarm of murderous henchmen on his tail. Getting herself and the kid out of this mess—alive—will mean pushing her vehicular skills to the max, and more! (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Best Animated Short Film (SilverAward)

Things That Disappear by Kim Changsoo – South Korea | 2022 – 11 minutes

An elderly person, living alone in an area under redevelopment, holds a funeral for a dead cat on the street. – KIAFA

Best Animated Short Film (Gold Award)

Amen a Man by Kyeong bae Kim – South Korea | 2022 – 13 minutes

An old man is on trial for the murder of a mountain bird. To examine the case, the judge peers into the old man’s memory. – KIAFA

Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Feature

INU-OH by Masaaki Yuasa – Japan,China | 2021 – 97 minutes

Two centuries after the legendary conflict between the Heike and Genji clans, a fisherman’s young son passes his days as a diver, scouring the lake’s bottom for relics of the tragic final battle. A mission for shogunate retainers leaves the boy blinded and his father dead. At that same moment, a monstrous, misshapen son is born to a family of respected Noh theatre performers. The blind boy grows up to be a humble yet talented travelling musician, seeking the hidden villages of the Heike’s descendants to gather their stories. The deformed and despised boy skulks and capers at the margins of society, his hideous face hidden behind a mask, all the while secretly mastering the craft of stage performance. When their paths cross, amazing events are set in motion, sending shockwaves through medieval Japanese society. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Special Jury Mention (Satoshi Kon Award Jury)

Summer Ghost by Loundraw – Japan | 2022 – 40 minutes

A trio of teenagers who’ve connected online through a shared curiosity about the paranormal meet up in person, and visit a disused airstrip. The hope to spot the elusive “summer ghost” rumoured to linger there, and any skepticism is soon put to rest. Still to be revealed, though, are poignant truths about the three young people, and what they have in common. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Camera Lucida AQCC Prize

Just Remembering by Daigo Matsui – Japan | 2022- 115 minutes

July 26, 2021. Teruo is turning 34. As he waters his plant, and performs his daily rehabilitative stretches, he considers his career as a dancer, behind him due to injury. The young man now works as a lightning technician, shining the spotlight on his former colleagues. In another rearview mirror: Yo, Teruo’s former partner. A cab driver, she now navigates the eerie, emptied-out streets of a COVID-stricken Tokyo. That day, as she brings a musician to her ex’s venue, she wanders backstage, as if led by a powerful sense of melancholy, or familiarity. Catching a glimpse of Teruo on stage, the memories of the past six years come flooding in. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

New Flesh Award for Best First Feature

Kappei by Takashi Hirano – Japan | 2022 – 118 minutes

In the 16th century, the French astrologer Nostradamus predicted that the world would end in July, 1999. According to him, cataclysms would transform the Earthinto a lawless place where evil would prevail. As the deadline approaches, little Kappei and several other children are isolated on a Japanese island to train in the mystical arts of Mukai Sappuken to save the planet. The problem is that Nostradamus has royally screwed up, so in the spring of 2022, their master sends them to live a “normal” life. Poor Kappei finds himself in Tokyo with shorts that are really too short, the attitude of a manga character, and the psychosocial baggage of a fossil. His quest for justice brings him his first friend, who introduces him to his first love. The apocalypse fighter has not been trained for this at all, and every emotion totally destabilizes him. However, he will have to adapt, as some of his less grounded comrades will soon force a confontation. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Special Mention (New Flesh Award Jury)

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra by Syeyoung Park – South Korea | 2022 – 62 minutes

Long classified as merely a sub-species of plants, molds and fungi have captured the imagination of scientists in recent years. Far more sophisticated and far-reaching than ever imagined, fungi not only stand out as nearly indestructible but are possibly the absolute rulers of our planet. In his feature debut, THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA, South Korean filmmaker Park Syeyoung tells the story of mold left behind on a mattress after a couple splits. Structured around a countdown to a mysterious birth, the film follows the life of the mold as it slowly grows into a creature that steals the vertebrae of humans who inhabit the bed. A movie filled with deep longing and even deeper loneliness, it captures the wistfulness of young love lost and the monster of despair that emerges from that sense of abandonment. (Fantasia 2022)

Trailer:

Special Mention by the Young Jury of My First Fantasia

Park Sungbae for You Can Fly – South Korea | 2020 – 12 minutes

The story of Ellie the Eagle, who becomes a father and raises a baby penguin. – KIAFA

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