'Chaika' Wins Top Honor at Japan's Skip City Festival

"Chaika" by Spanish director Miguel Ángel Jiménez.

The festival in Saitama, north of Tokyo, attracted 10,000 visitors this year, a 20 percent increase over 2012.

TOKYO – The 10th Skip City International D-Cinema Festival came to a close Sunday with Chaika by Spain`s Miguel Ángel Jiménez taking the $15,000 (1.5 million yen) grand prize and Israel`s Yariv Horowitz winning best director and $5,000 for Rock the Casbah.

Chaika is a Spanish-Georgian-Russian co-production that tells the tale of a romance between a sailor and a prostitute, set in Siberia and Kazakhstan. 

7 Boxes from Paraguayan director Juan Carlos Manegglia won $5,000 for best screenplay, while Kanagawa University of Fine Arts, Office of Film Research took the special jury prize and $5,000 for Yuichiro Sakashita.

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The Skip City Award went to Shingo Matsumura`s Striking Out in Love, for which he will receive use of the post-production facilities for his next feature, at the Sai no Kuni Visual Plaza in the festival venue, north of Tokyo.

Skip City received over 500 submissions from 80 countries for this year`s event, which attracted more than 10,000 visitors, up about 20 percent on last year.

The best short award, and $5,000, went to Junichi Kanai for Transferring, while No Longer There by Nobuyuki Miyake and Hikari by Nobuyasu Uchida, both received special mentions and $3,000.

Capturing Dad by Ryota Nakano, which premiered at last year`s fest and took multiple awards, went on to be picked up for worldwide distribution by Fortissimo, in a deal negotiated by Skip City`s head of programming Toshikyuki Hasegawa.

Hasegawa told The Hollywood Reporter that he hopes some of the Japanese films from this year`s festival would emulate Capturing Dad`s international success.


Twitter: @GavinJBlair