FESTIVALS: Handle With Care wins at Skip City

Norwegian filmmaker Arild Andresen’s Handle With Care picked up the Grand Prize at this year’s Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (July 15-23) in Japan.

The film, which premiered at Goteborg film festival this year, follows a Norwegian widower who takes his adopted son back to Colombia to look for his biological mother.

Hilde Susan Jaegtnes, who co-write the film with Andresen, was on hand to collect the Grand Prize Sony D-Cinema Award from jury president and leading Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Skip City’s best director award went to Chinese filmmakers Yu Haibo and Kiki Tianqi Yu for feature-length documentary China’s Van Goghs. The film follows a man who paints replicas of Van Goghs artworks in Shenzhen and travels to Amsterdam to see the originals.

The special jury prize went to Hungarian filmmaker Roland Vranik’s The Citizen, about an African refugee attempting to pass the citizenship test in Hungary. The Skip City Award went to 3ft Ball And Souls, the second feature from Japanese filmmaker Yoshio Kato, which follows a group of people who meet on the internet to commit suicide.

In the separate animation competition, best picture was awarded to Iku Ogawa’s I Think You’re A Little Confused, while honourable mentions went to The Interpreter, directed by Noriko Okaku, and Takeda Station Memories from Michika Hamamura.

Best picture in the short film competition was presented to Naoya Asanuma’s If Winter Burned, while honourable mentions went to Nobuyuki Miyake’s Siren and Remember! from Tetsuhiko Tsuchiya.

Launched in 2004, Skip City focuses on international and Japanese films shot on digital in order to discover and nurture emerging talent.

This year, the festival also screened three features that previously played at the festival and helped launch the careers of their young directors – Kazuya Shiraishi’s Lost Paradise In Tokyo (2009), Ryota Nakano’s Capturing Dad (2012) and Yuichiro Sakashita’s Kanagawa University Of Fine Arts, Office Of Film Research (2013).