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Sayuri Yoshinaga congratulates SAMURAI Award recipient director Yoji Yamada – ‘I hope always to be a student at the School of Yamada’


©2015 TIFF

Director Yoji Yamada and Hong Kong director John Woo, recipients of the second SAMURAI Award selected from the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival, attended the award ceremony held at the festival’s “Special Night Event at Kabukiza Theatre“.
The award commends people in the film industry who have carved out new forms of visual expression, and Yamada, his face flushed with emotion, said “I’ve been involved in the Tokyo International Film Festival since the first one, and I am much honored to receive this wonderful award.” He also praised the younger director, popular for his action films. “I haven’t filmed anything inspiring like I was a real samurai, so I think John Woo is the more fitting recipient for this award. I would like to offer him my heartfelt congratulations.”
Woo admitted that “it is a real honor to be able to receive this award together with the most respected master of Japanese film. I continue to be inspired by his universalistic works, overflowing with love and humanity. I will continue to devote my life to film”, he said, showing renewed resolve.
Sayuri Yoshinaga, who appears in Yamada’s new film Haha to Kuraseba, which will be released on December 12, brought him a bouquet of flowers and offered him congratulations. Working with Yamada for the fifth time, Yoshinaga offered her highest praise. “To me, he is the principal of the ‘School of Yamada’, the teacher of life. We always have such enjoyable conversations in between filming, and he talks about his memories with Kiyoshi Atsumi. His stories always leave deep in my heart. I am really glad to be working in films, and I hope I can always remain a student of his.”
Yamada took the praise humbly, saying “whenever I’m with Sayuri Yoshinaga she makes me feel as though I have to say the important things properly, and that I can’t lie. This is why before I know it, I’m putting all my energy into saying good things. It’s really good incentive.”
Woo was presented with a bouquet by director Keishi Otomo, known for the series Rurouni Kenshin. Otomo remembers calling out to Woo 17 years ago during his time in NHK, when Otomo was an exchange student in Los Angeles. “I’m a huge fan, I spent all last night watching five of your films, and I felt their power and momentum. I’ll try my best to catch up with you, and work hard so that you might watch some of my films”, he vowed.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)