Winners of SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL 2020 announced!!


《International Competition Winners》

Grand Prize



Director: Maria Sødahl

<2019 / Norway, Sweden / 125min.>

©Manuel Claro


Masa Sawada, Producer, President of the Jury (International Competition)
“Hope” was unanimously selected by all the jury members for the Grand Prize. This is a wonderful and very favorite work. The protagonist who was informed of cancer never accepted mercy, and while sometimes showing an attitude that made the audience look away, the fear of dying and the responsibility as a mother to the children left behind Is transmitted to you. You can see a living woman and a mother right there. It seems that the director herself is asking the question of “living” by snuggling up with this protagonist. I highly anticipate what she will make next.


Director: Maria Sødahl
When I woke up at the cabin in a mountain in Norway, I received an email from Japan stating that the jurors selected my work for the Grand Prix. It was unexpectable and I am very honored to receive this wonderful news. This award is special to me, because this story is the most autobiographical of my work to date. It was very challenging to translate my own experience to be on screen. The award means, the story, both emotionally and culturally, crossed borders. At least I believe so. It was very encouraging. I think everyone involved in the work is proud of this award.



Best Director


The Pencil

Director: Natalya Nazarova

<2019 / Russia / 93min.>

©Salt Studio, ©Fortissimo Films


Yukiko Mishima, Film Director, Juror (International Competition)
I think the most wonderful thing about “The Pencil” is that it incorporates the social structure of Russia and the feeling of “not seeing what you don’t want to see” that is prevalent all over the world into the story as a parable. Director Natalya Nazarova gave a really powerful message that “we must see”. I think it is necessary to make a movie even if it is not demanded. I would like her to keep making it, remembering that we are looking forward to her work if she faces difficulties in the future.


Director: Natalya Nazarova
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the people involved in the festival, the audience, and the jury members. I didn’t expect that I would win the Best Director, and I am surprised with this big thing. Thank you very much for highly appreciating my film. I love all the traditional Japanese culture, including Japanese poetry, so this award is a big thing to me. I would like to visit Japan someday, meet you, and share my feelings about Japanese culture. I love you all.



Special Jury Prize


The Pencil

Director: Natalya Nazarova

<2019 / Russia / 93min.>

©Salt Studio, ©Fortissimo Films


Julian Ross, Programmer of Locarno and Rotterdam, Juror (International Competition)
In a world where social pressure makes it difficult to move forward, I feel that “The Pencil” focuses on the problems Russia and many places in the world are facing. I am looking forward to the films that Director Natalya Nazarova will make in the future.



Audience Award


Heart and Bones

Director: Ben Lawrence

<2019 / Australia / 111min.>

©2019 Hearts and Bones Films Pty Ltd, Spectrum Films Pty Ltd, Lemac Films (Australia) Pty Ltd, Create NSW and Screen Australia


Director: Ben Lawrence
“Hears and Bones” received the Audience Award, and I thank the film festival and the audience. I was very surprised to hear this news at the airport in the early morning just before leaving London where I was staying. I’m really thankful to you. I wanted to participate in the festival if possible, but I hope to be there someday.





Woman of the Photographs

Director: Takeshi Kushida

<2020 / Japan / 89min.>



Kyoko Heya, Production Designer, President of the Jury (Japanese Film Competition)
“Woman of the Photographs” is a very unique film with a specific perspective, and I was able to concentrate on the film for 89 minutes. The man who doesn’t talk keeps taking and retouching photos coolly, but with the appearance of a woman, it actually looks like he is a little excited. While dealing the problems of SNS, the story of a man and a woman progresses as if a female mantis eats up a male. There are many things to see technically, and the ending is superb with effectively utilizing the shutter sound as well as the beautiful and attractive screen. I definitely want to see the next film directed by Takeshi Kushida. I have great expectations to his future films.


Director: Takeshi Kushida
Thank you very much. I heard that the SKIP City Award is an award that can get support for production, so I would definitely like to make the next film. I enjoyed the online festival myself, but it was an opportunity to reaffirm the greatness of the movie. Nowadays, the influence of COVID-19 and the difference in political position are spreading the division all over the world, but the cinematic joy brings the divided people together regardless of nationality, culture, gender and race. I think it can be done. For my next film, I want to make something that brings the joy of the movie to everyone.




《Japanese Film Competition Winners》

Best Picture (Japanese Feature Category)



Director: Anshul Chauhan

<2019 / Japan / 144min.>



Adam Torel, Managing Director of Third Window Films, Juror (Japanese Film Competition)
Big congratulations to Director Anshul Chauhan, and the staff and cast of “Kontora”! I think it’s a really great movie. It was long but I felt it short. The camera and sound were all good in the technical part. The acting of the cast members is also excellent. Although it is an experimental movie, it is also an entertainment. Whether you’re a movie lover or not, you’ll probably love “Kontora”. I hope many people will watch the film.


Director: Anshul Chauhan
I am glad that I got out of the bedroom and stood in front of you in this way while refraining from doing so. Today, I couldn’t bring everyone on the team to the ceremony due to the influence of COVID-19, but producer Mina Moteki and actress Wan Marui came. Thank you for believing in me and participating. This movie is an expression of an important part of me. It’s a movie that points out the sensitive parts of Japanese society, and I’m glad that it was conveyed to everyone. Like it is said at the end of the movie, this movie is dedicated to Japanese soldiers, so this award is dedicated to those who died at that time. Thank you everyone.



Best Picture (Japanese Short Category)



Director: Naoya Fujita

<2019 / Japan / 38min.>



Shuichi Okita, Film Director, Juror (Japanese Film Competition)
I thought “Stay” has a particular advantage of short films that feature films do not have. I think the ironic story that a person who tries to kick people out is staying and the people who were staying there suddenly disappear is very good.


Director: Naoya Fujita
Thank you very much for holding the film festival, even if it is online. Because it was online, I felt that many people could see it. I think the location of this film could impress the audience, but the film was made by renting a friend’s house. I’m glad to win this award for working with the scriptwriter, producer, crew members, who are friends for many years from my college. Thank you very much.



Audience Award (Japanese Feature Category)



Director: Teppei Isobe

<2020 / Japan / 95min.>

©belly roll film


Director: Teppei Isobe
I attended SKIP CITY INTERNATIONAL D-Cinema FESTIVAL with a short film (“Who Knows about My Life” won Best Picture for the 2018 Japanese Short Film Competition) for the first year, and then with a feature film (“F is for Future” won SKIP CITY AWARD for the Japanese Feature Film Competition) for the second year, and this year I made a movie with hoping that I would return to SKIP CITY for the third consecutive year, and I came back this year again. I am very happy with the Audience Award because it is the award that the audience choose. I’ve been working with GON, who starred in this film, and we had been talking to make a feature film together, so congratulations GON! Thank you very much.



Audience Award (Japanese Short Category)


Muito Prazer

Director: Park Jengil

<2020 / Japan / 31min.>


Director: Park Jengil
When I did egosearching, some people said that they watched my film a couple of times, and I thought I would watch “TENET” instead, but I think I got this award because those people exist. As anyone who has seen this film knows, it’s probably the smallest budget film among this year’s nominated films. I took it with a small camera I borrowed without any backup from anywhere. The staff and cast members were paid almost nothing. I made this film only with my passion. However, I think that the film won the Audience Award because that that passion reached many people. Thank you to all the staff and cast members for saving me. And to all the Brazilians of Japanese descent who accepted my request to make this film, you are all talented and wonderful people. From now on, please go out and use your talents for your second home, Japan. Some people may say bullshit to you, but we, your friends, are supporting you. Thank you very much.