36th TIFF | Tokyo 2023 Tokyo International Film Festival Winners: ‘Snow Leopard’ By Late Tibetan Filmmaker Pema Tseden Takes Top Prize
By Zac Ntim, Deadline November 1, 2023 2:30am
Family drama Snow Leopard, directed by the late Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, has won the Tokyo Grand Prix, the top prize at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Scroll down for the full list of winners.
The film, which is also nominated for three Asia Pacific Screen Awards, follows a rural family who debate whether they should kill a snow leopard that broke into their home and killed nine sheep.
The full synopsis reads: In a mountain village where white leopards live, the film explores the symbiosis of humans and animals through the fantastical interaction of a young Tibetan monk and a leopard.
Snow Leopard is one of two films Tseden, who had Chinese citizenship, had been working on when he died in May, aged 53. His death was reported by Chinese media. No cause of death was given, but unverified Chinese media reports said he had a heart attack.
Widely regarded as China’s leading filmmaker working in the Tibetan language, Tseden’s credits included Jinpa, produced by Wong Kar Wai, which won best screenplay when it premiered in the Horizons section of Venice in 2018.
The Tokyo Grand Prix prize comes with a 3 million yen cash prize. Elsewhere, Tatami by Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Guy Nattivwon the Special Jury Prize, which comes with a 500,000 yen cash prize. The film also won the award for Best Actress forZar Amir Ebrahimi. The film, which debuted at Venice, follows a judo athlete and her coach who are forced by the Iranian authorities to withdraw from a match against an Israeli athlete.
‘Snow Leopard’ Tokyo Film Festival
The award for Best Director went to Japanese filmmaker Kishi Yoshiyuki for (Ab)normal Desire, one of three Japanese films in competition at Tokyo this year. Iranian actor took the award for Best Actor for his role inRoxana.
Across ten days and largely within the luxury cultural district of Hibiya-Ginza, the Tokyo Film Festival screened 219 films and recorded 74,841 admissions. The number of admissions is up from 59,541 last year, where 174 films screened. 38 out of 219 films, so 22.4%, were directed by women at this year’s fest.
The competition jury was headed by Wim Wenders and included Albert Serra, Kunizane Mizue, Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, and Zhao Tao.
Tokyo closes this evening with the World Premiere of Toho’s Godzilla Minus One, directed by Japanese filmmaker Takashi Yamazaki.