Tokyo fest taps jury, Puttnam

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TOKYO -- The Tokyo International Film Festival has chosen the jury for its 20th outing and has tapped David Puttnam as the recipient of its fourth Akira Kurosawa Award.

Alan Ladd Jr. will be president of the international competition jury. Ladd has headed both 20th Century Fox and MGM/UA. His producing credits include the upcoming "Gone Baby Gone."

Also sitting on the jury will be Serge Losique, the Montreal World Film Festival director and president of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Italian composer Nicola Piovani, who has written more than 130 soundtracks, including the Grammy-nominated "Life Is Beautiful" in 2000, will serve alongside Wu Nien-jen, the Taiwanese director, producer and actor who also has written more than 80 screenplays.

Representing Japan on the jury will be Tokyo actress Kyoko Kagawa and director Yasuo Furuhata. Kagawa made her movie debut in 1950, while Furuhata made his directorial debut in 1966.

The Akira Kurosawa Award, which includes a $100,000 cash prize, is awarded to directors and producers who "made many works of high quality that balance entertainment and artistic objectives and who contributed to the development of world cinema."

Previous winners include Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsein, and joint recipients Steven Spielberg and Yamada Yoji.

Puttnam spent 30 years as an independent film producer. His work included "The Mission," "The Killing Fields," "Chariots of Fire" and "Midnight Express."

Puttnam also headed Columbia Pictures from 1986-88 -- the first non-American to run a Hollywood studio -- and was the president of the jury at the inaugural TIFF.

"Looking back on my long career, I can honestly say that the week spent chairing the jury at the first Tokyo International Film Festival counts among the most challenging, enjoyable and ultimately satisfying of my entire life," Puttnam said.
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