'Akunin,' 'Breathless' Take Top Kimena Junpo Awards

'Akunin' is also the most nominated film at this year's Japan Academy Prize, held next month.


TOKYO – Akunin (Villain) and Breathless have been selected as the best Japanese and foreign films, respectively, in 2010 by the 84th Kinema Junpo Awards.

Akunin has already garnered 15 nominations at the Japan Academy Prize – to be held on Feb 18, two days before the Kinema Junpo Award ceremony – and a best actress gong at the Montreal Film Festival for Eri Fukatsu.

However, Akunin was beaten to Japan’s Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination by Kokuhaku (Confessions) – which came second in the Kinema Junpo Awards. 

Third place went to Takahisa Zeze’s 4 ½ hours-long Heaven’s Story, while Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins took fourth, and Sawako Decides came in fifth.

This year’s awards represent something of a double for Korea, with Akunin directed by Korean-Japanese director Lee Sang-il, and Korean film Breathless by Yang Ik-Joon, getting the best foreign film nod.

Invictus was second in the foreign film rankings, District 9 third, Germany’s White Ribbon fourth, and Hurt Locker fifth.

Presented by Kinema Junpo, a film magazine founded in 1919, the awards -- Japan’s oldest -- began in 1925, predating the U.S. Oscars by a few years.