The 33rd Tokyo International Film Festival welcomes actor Koji Yakusho for the Festival Ambassador. Mr. Yakusho will appear at the official events as the face of the 33rd TIFF.
I always had the impression that it was lovely actresses who served as the ambassadors for the Tokyo International Film Festival and thereby added glamour to the festivities.
But in the midst of this pandemic-ridden time, when film festivals around the world have had to cancel, postpone and limit the scope of their events, the Tokyo International Film Festival has kindly asked me to serve as the ambassador for its 33rd Edition, an important role which I humbly accept, although I’m not sure how much glamour I can add to the festival. The overall impact of the pandemic on the film industry remains to be seen, but I nevertheless feel that this experience will be an unforgettable one.
Throughout the years, the Tokyo International Film Festival has discovered many works of artistic excellence and new talent and has introduced them to」apan and the world. I am very honored to be able to serve as a representative of such a festival.
I sincerely hope for TIFF’s continued growth as a festival that is increasingly esteemed by the global film world, and that continues to shine a light on works of artistic worth.
Born on January 1, 1956 in Nagasaki. In 1983, Yakusho appeared in NHK’s TV drama, “Tokugawa Ieyasu”, and played the role of Nobunaga ODA, a charismatic warlord of the 16th century, with which he was widely noticed and obtained his popularity. Koji Yakusho has been the recipient of three Best Actor awards in Japan, for Masayuki Suo’s Shall We Dance?
, Kohei Oguri’s Sleeping Man
and Tatsuoki Hosono’s Shabu Gokudo
, all in the same yea「,1996. A multitude of films in which he has starred have been shown at international film festivals, including Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure
(’97), which earned him the Tokyo International Film Festival Best Actor Award, and Shohei lmamura’s The Eel
(’97) which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Other films at TIFF include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s License to Live
, which earned an Asian Film Award Special Mention at the 11th Edition, and Shuichi Okita’s The Woodsman and the Rain
, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 24th Edition.
In 2012, Yakusho received the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Government of」apan. The same year, he was awarded the Cut Above Award for Excellence in Film from New York’s」apan Society, and a Career Achievement Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Further international acclaim includes the Nippon Honor Award at Nippon Connection in Germany and the Cinema Legend Award at the Singapore International Film Festival, both in 2017.
Recent works include Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Third Murder
(’17) and Kazuya Shiraishi’s The Blood of Wolves
(’18), the latter of which earned Yakusho his third」apan Academy Prize Best Actor Award after Shall We Dance?
and The Eel
. In 2019, Yakusho received both the Best Actor and Excellence in Asian Cinema Award at the 13th Asian Film Awards, proving that he is one of the leading actors in Asia.
Upcoming films include Miwa Nishikawa’s Under the Open Sky
, slated to open domestically in February 2021 and Takashi Koizumi’s Touge: The Last Samurai