The Tokyo International Film Festival announced Monday that China’s Xiaogang Gu and Indonesia’s Mouly Surya will jointly receive the festival’s prestigious world cinema honor, the Kurosawa Akira Award, at the event’s upcoming 36th edition.
The award, which was awarded fourteen years ago until last year, is given to “filmmakers who have made waves in cinema and are expected to help shape the future of the industry.” The prize has previously been awarded to film stars such as Steven Spielberg, Yoji Yamada and the Taiwanese Hou Hsiao-hsien. Last year’s winners were Mexican author Alejandro González Iñárritu and Japan’s Koji Fukada.
The 2023 honorees were chosen by a selection committee including director Yoji Yamada, veteran actress Fumi Dan, casting director and producer Yoko Narahashi, film critic Saburo Kawamoto and Tokyo Festival program director Shozo Ichiyama.
Hailing from Southern China, Gu’s feature film debut, Living in the Fuchun Mountainswas shot over two years and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. The film was selected as the closing film of the Cannes Critics’ Week and also won the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo Filmex in 2019.
Jakarta-born Surya made her film debut with Fiksi in 2008. Her follow-up film, What they don’t talk about when they talk about love, was screened in Tokyo in 2013 and was also the first Indonesian film to be selected for the Sundance Film Festival. She strengthened her international reputation with her third feature film, Marlina the murderer in four acts, which debuted at Cannes in 2017 and became only the fourth Indonesian film ever to make the official selection. The film would also win the top prize at Tokyo Filmex and was selected as the Indonesian entry for the international feature film category at the Academy Awards.
The Kurosawa Akira Award ceremony will take place on October 31 at the Imperial Hotel. The 36th Tokyo International Film Festival runs from October 23 to November 1.