A report from the Tokyo Film Festival, where The Last Reel was deemed a great success
|Kulikar Sotho receiving her Spirit of Asia award at Tokyo IFF|
The 27th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF Japan 2014)
was a resounding success for The Last Reel team and the principals from
Hanuman Films as debutant Director Sotho Kulikar won the Spirit of Asia
Director Sotho Kulikar, Producer Murray Pope, Executive Producers Tan
Sotho and Nick Ray, and actors Ma Rynet, Dy Saveth, Sok Sothun and Hun
Sophy travelled to Tokyo for the festival and had an incredible week.
The world premiere was on Sunday 26 October at 14.10pm at TOHO Cinemas,
Roppongi Hills, and screened to a sellout audience. A Q & A followed
with the director and actors before the team rolled on to Gonpachi
Restaurant in Roppongi. Famous as the inspiration for Uma Thurman’s
showdown with Lucy Liu in Quentin Taratino’s ‘Kill Bill
‘, celebrity diners have included Lady Gaga and Barack Obama, although not together.
Sunday saw a Kabuki performance at the famous Kabukizi Theatre in
Tokyo, recently restored to its former glory. The audience was treated
‘ (Stone Bridge) by Ichikawa Somegoro, one of
Japan’s best known artists. After a brief but beautifully presented
bento box for dinner, the audience enjoyed a screening of Charlie
Chaplin’s City Lights
, complete with some hilarious boxing sequences.
After some sightseeing around Tokyo, it was time for the second
screening of The Last Reel at TOHO Cinemas, Roppongi Hills. Another
packed house saw a longer Q & A session with time for the audience
to ask some profound questions. A celebratory dinner followed at a
nearby local restaurant.
After a couple more days of sightseeing, including the famous Tokyo
Skytree, the world’s tallest freestanding tower, and the Senso-Ji
Temple, it was time for the Closing Ceremony of TIFF Japan 2014.
Director Sotho Kulikar was seated in C36 right behind the Press, but
there was still no clear indication of an award at this stage. After the
Shogun Award was shared between film titans Tim Burton and Takeshi
Kitano, it was time for the Japanese Film Splash which went to ‘100 Yen Love
‘ with a special mention for ‘Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday
Then came the all-important Asian Future section and the announcement of
the Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center. As the
presenter mentioned a country in turmoil, we dared to believe and before
long Director Sotho Kulikar was bound for the stage. An emotional
speech followed in which she thanked her team in Japan, Cambodia and
Australia and talked about the relationship between her mother and
father. She dedicated the award to Cambodia and Cambodian people
everywhere and hopes that it will help inspire a new generation of
Other award winners on the night included ‘Borderless
” with the Best Asian Future Film Award; ‘Test’
with the WOWOW Viewer’s Choice Award and for Best Artistic Contribution; ‘Pale Moon
‘ with the Audience Award and Rie Miyazawa as Best Actress; ‘The Mighty Angel
‘ with Robert Więckiewicz as Best Actor; ‘The Lesson
‘ with the Special Jury Prize; and ‘Heaven Knows What
‘ with both the Best Director Award and Tokyo Grand Prix going to Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie.
It was time to celebrate after some photo calls and interviews and the
party kicked off at the Academy Hills on the 49th Floor of the Roppongi
Hills Mori Tower with champagne in full flow. The team eventually made
it back to the Okura Hotel and spent Saturday recovering before the long
flight home to Phnom Penh.
Labels: Sotho Kulikar, The Last Reel