Japanese Auteur Takashi Miike to Head Jury at Skip City Festival

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Takashi Miike

The cult and festival favorite will be president of the international competition jury, while Naoko Ogigami will perform the same role for the Japanese film competition.

Takashi Miike will serve as the head of the jury for this year's Skip City International D Cinema Festival's main competition.

An international festival and cult favorite auteur, Miike's First Love yakuza flick was one of only two Japanese films screened at Cannes this year, albeit in the Directors’ Fortnight section.

Naoko Ogigami will be the jury president for the Japanese film competition at Skip City, which takes place north of Tokyo in Saitama's Kawaguchi City from July 13-21. Ogigami's debut feature, Barber Yoshino (2003), won a special mention award at Berlin, where three of her films subsequently screened, including Close-Knit (2017), which won two more awards. She has also written for Netflix's surprise stop-motion anime hit Rilakkuma and Kaoru.

"I am very honored that Takashi Miike and Naoko Ogigami, who are both internationally acclaimed, accepted the offer to serve as the president of the jury in the two main categories of the festival, the International Competition and the Japanese Film Competition, respectively," said festival director Tsutomu Tsuchikawa.

Skip City launched in 2004 as one of the world’s first festivals focused on digital films. As the new technology became standard it shifted to discovering and nurturing new talent. In recent years it has helped the nascent careers of directors, including Shinichiro Ueda of micro-budget zombie hit One Cut of the Dead fame; Ryota Nakano, whose Her Love Boils Bathwater was Japan's foreign language Oscar entry for 2018; and Kazuya Shiraishi, whose Blood of Wolves won best actor at this year's Asian Film Awards for Koji Yakusho.