‘Tatsumi’ wins big at Dubai Int’l filmfest

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

“Tatsumi,” an animated film by Singaporean director Eric Khoo about Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, won the best film award in the Muhr AsiaAfrica feature category at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival held in December.

Based on Tatsumi’s semi-autobiographical comic book “A Drifting Life,” Khoo incorporated his other manga shorts into the feature. The film brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the artist known for his “gekiga” (dramatic pictures) style.

Actor Tetsuya Bessho voices the main character, while Tatsumi himself serves as the narrator. It is the first time for a Japanese-speaking film to win in the best award category.

The film was picked for the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes International Film Festival in 2011 before winning the best animated film award at the Sitges International Film Festival that year.

Also in 2011, the film represented Singapore in the foreign language film category at the Academy Awards.
The Dubai International Film Festival, launched in 2004, initially targeted films from the Arab world. But now it covers a wider range of films, mainly comprising the Arab and AsiaAfrica categories.

The filmfest also offers the Dubai film market an opportunity to promote the film industry across the Middle East, making it a major regional event.

Japanese films also won accolades at the event.

“The Woodsman and the Rain,” directed by Shuichi Okita, won the best scriptwriter award and best editor awards in the Muhr AsiaAfrica competition. The leading actor, Koji Yakusho, received the best actor award.

In the Muhr AsiaAfrica documentary section, Mami Sunada’s “Ending Note: Death of a Japanese Salesman” won the second prize, while “Shoji & Takao,” which was directed by Yoko Ide, won the Human Rights Film Network award.

Visit the official website of the film festival at (http://www.dubaifilmfest.com/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.