Tokyo Film Festival: Brazilian Drama 'Nise' Wins Grand Prix

Nise The Heart Of Madness Still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy of TV Zero

The festival's Special Jury Prize went to French film 'All Three of Us,' which offers an optimistic take on the European migration issue.

The Tokyo International Film Festival wrapped up its 28th edition in the Japanese capital Saturday evening, awarding the Grand Prix to Brazilian director Roberto Berliner's stirring social drama Nise — The Heart of Madness.

Announcing the awards with a notably hoarse voice, jury chairman Bryan Singer (X-Men Apocalypse) joked that he done too much “screaming at other jury members" during the difficult process of deciding which of the festival's 16 competition entries to honor.

Nise tells the true story of Dr. Nise da Silveira, a female psychiatrist who overcame the prejudices of the 1940s Brazilian medical system to reform mental healthcare in the country. Gloria Pires received the best actress award for her performance as the film's heroine. Singer noted that he had once worked as a bus driver for mentally challenged children, so he was especially happy to pay tribute to the "masterful" film. 

Nise made its international premiere in Tokyo, having bowed earlier in October at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, where it won the audience award.

The festival's second-place Special Jury Prize went to All Three of Us, from French comedian-turned-director Kheiron. The film broaches the issue of migration from the Middle East to Europe — with a humorous and uplifting tone.

Danish actors Roland Moller and Louis Hoffman shared best actor honors for their performances in Land of Mine, a drama set in the immediate aftermath of World War II.

The Best Artistic Contribution Award went to Family Film by Slovenian director Olmo Omerzu, while the Audience Award was given to Italian director Edoardo Falcone's God Willing.

The winner of the Japanese Cinema Splash prize for local indie movies was Hiroshi Shoji's feature debut Ken and Kazu, a drama about two low-level Tokyo drug dealers.

The winner of the Asian Future section, for aspiring Asian auteurs, was Thai director Pimpaka Towira for her experimental road movie The Island Funeral.

The 30th Tokyo International Film Festival screened 207 films over its 10-day run, attracting some 63,700 admissions.