‘Balloon’ Floats to top at Tokyo Filmex Festival

November 30, 2019 11:56PM PT

Pema Tseden’s drama “Balloon” won the Grand Prize at Tokyo Filmex’s 20th edition, which unspooled Nov. 23-Dec. 1 at two locations in central Tokyo.

The film, which premiered in the Horizon’s section of this year’s Venice Film Festival, examines the sex lives and mores of rural folk in the director’s native Tibet. Tseden also won grand prizes at two previous editions of the Asian-focused Filmex.

Winner of the second-place Special Jury Prize was Chinese director Gu Xiaogang’s “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.” The director’s feature debut, it was also the closing film in the International Critics’ Week section at this year’s Cannes festival and has festival play in Singapore.

Special Mentions went to Cambodian director Neang Kavitch’s “Last Night I Saw You Smiling” and Nanako Hirose’s “book-paper-scissors,” while “Silent Rain” by Ryutaro Nakagawa scooped the audience award. Hirose and Nakagawa’s films were the only ones by Japanese directors in the 10-film competition.