For Immediate Release:
Feb. 15, 2003
"Tokyo Video Festival 2003"
Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) is pleased to announce the selection of winners of three awards at the "Tokyo Video Festival 2003 (TVF 2003)", which it hosts. TVF 2003 set a new record for participation with a total of 2,386 video works submitted from 38 countries and regions. The judges selected the special prize-winners from among the 30 prize-winners already announced (winners of the "TVF 2003 Award"). The "Video Grand Prize" and the "JVC Grand Prize" are given to works that best represent a year. The "People's Award" is chosen by the general public and three entries are awarded this prize.
The announcement and the awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, February 15 at "The Garden Hall" in Ebisu, Tokyo with all judges, award winners, the press, and other visitors invited to this fantastic event. (Note: Award winners from Korea and China also invited)
The "Video Grand Prize" goes to Ms. Noriko Fukuoka of Tokyo Prefecture (company employee, 24) for "Rogo" (the Senior Life). In this video, she depicts the life of her grandfather who lived and died alone without resisting his destiny. She does it rather indifferently but with overwhelming visual expressiveness. The work was highly evaluated as it questions us "what is aging?" and "what is the meaning of human existence?"
The "JVC Grand Prize" was awarded to Mr. Lee Hyunchul (film maker, 27) of Korea for "the Game Machine Kidnapping Affair". This is a dramatic work with a musical touch, and the story is about a battle over computer games. This dynamic entertainment piece is full of "powerful young Korean energy."
The "People's Award" was awarded to three videos: "SANBASO WO UKETSUGU OTOKOTACHI" (The Men Who Preserve the Sanbaso) by Yutaka Nakazawa of Nagano, "FU-UN NEKO NINROKU" (Chronicle of the "Wind and Clouds" Ninja Cat) by Yasuhiro Arafune of Saitama, and "WARERA SHASHINBU TANTEIDAN ? OGON MAJIN TAI TOUMEI NINGEN NO MAKI" (Our Photo Club Detective Team - The Case of Golden Magician versus the Invisible Gentleman) by Photography Club of Kyoto Metropolitan Fukakusa Junior High School). These three works came out at the top of the "pre-week" voting by Internet users.
Outline of Tokyo Video Festival
"TVF 2003" Award
* Video Grand Prize, JVC Grand Prize, and People's Award are chosen from the works selected for the TVF 2003 Award.
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TVF 2003 Winners: Trends and Topics
1. Family portraits express different forms of love
In "ROGO" ("the Senior Life," Noriko Fukuoka, age: 24, Tokyo), the winner of the Video Grand Prize, depicts the life of the author's grandfather, a man who has lived alone for the last decade. It uses a selection of intermittent scenes to create a video portrait of the family, and its simple, unadorned images and narration express respect for the grandfather as a human being. The tender nuances of family love in this work leave the viewer feeling warm and happy in spite of the sad ending.
A completely different depiction of the family can be seen in "Papa" (Jon Alpert, U.S.A.), another work dealing with the elderly. The subject of this video is the author's father, a man who was among the elite during the era of the American dream. Excellent camerawork provides a skillful look at the bonds between a man who is still stylish in his old age and the family that loves him.
"Fond Thoughts of Mt.Tsukuba," Kazuhiko Yoshino, 41, Nagano uses the director's passion for mountain climbing to create a love song for his wife. In this lively video album, we see the wife following the lead set by her husband, willingly and lovingly accompanying him on his climbs.
2. Powerful Korean work wins JVC Grand Prize
The JVC Grand Prize was awarded to "the Game Machine Kidnapping Affair" (Mr. Lee Hyunchul, 27, Korea). Judge Makoto Shiina praised the "powerful Korean energy" of this dynamic entertainment piece. This year saw a sharp increase in submissions from Korea, and as a group these communicate the "energetic Korea" that was so evident from the cheering sections at last year's FIFA World Cup? tournament.
Submissions from young Japanese creators displayed strong animation skills, for example "FU-UN NEKO NINROKU" ("Chronicle of the Wind and Clouds Ninja Cat," Yasuhiro Arafune, 18, Saitama) and "WARERA SHASHINBU TANTEIDAN ? OGON MAJIN TAI TOUMEI NINGEN NO MAKI" ("Our Photo Club Detective Team - The Case of Golden Magician versus the Invisible Gentleman," Photography Club of Kyoto Metropolitan Fukakusa Junior High School).
Several dramatic works were given special recognition for their original scenarios and skillful productions. "The California Dream" (Nahyeong Cheon, 35, U.S.A.) uses a documentary touch to tell a story about peeping into the life of an e-mail lover. "Ai D'eu Sodade" ("Ah, Filled with Nostalgia!" Sandra Ribeiro, 40, Brazil) is a short-short that takes a one-scene look at how an oddball married couple spends its morning.
3. Personal observations and social commentaries
"Nagisa's Daiginjo" (Hiroshi Yoshida, 32, Kanagawa) carefully follows a young woman from Kyoto as she attempts to become a toji, a master sake brewer, and a job from which women have been traditionally barred. "Duralex Sedlex" ("No Matter How Hard, the Law is the Law," Luciana Tanure, Henrique Silveira e Marilia Rocha) and "Alain le Berger des Glaciers" ("Alain: Shepherd of the Glaciers," Denis Alain, 49, Belgium) are among other prize-winning excellent human-interest submissions from Japan and abroad.
These videos use observations of individual human beings to highlight facets of society as a whole. "Do You Like Japan?" (Tsuneko Takatori, 58, Tokyo) looks at the problems and concerns of foreign women married to Japanese husbands and living in Japan. As a Japanese language teacher, she tries to befriend and understand them, and in the process learns much about how to interact with people from other countries. "SANBASO WO UKETSUGU OTOKOTACHI" ("The Men Who Preserve the Sanbaso", Yutaka Nakazawa, Nagano) is a moving documentary about efforts to preserve local culture and offers insights into the conservation of Japanese traditions.
4. The power of video as a medium for personal networking
This year we saw a large number of "awareness-raising videos" that won prizes. These videos look at social issues from the perspective of the common man rather different than that of the mass media.
"Globalisation and the Media" (Paul O'Connor, U.K.) questions the uniform reporting provided by television and other giant mass media outlets, and makes the case for new media that is able to continue to provide images from independent perspectives. "Amalgamation" (Kishimoto-cho Video Club, Tottori) is a straight-on look at the merger of two small towns that was produced by a community video club. Mergers are an issue faced by communities around Japan, and the club uses video to delve deeply into the questions involved.
5. Imaginary worlds
Video is capable of giving almost any meaning to any subject, of communicating almost any image to the viewer, depending on the aims of the producer. Obviously, how effective it is at doing this will depend on the author's sensibilities and the steadiness of his/her vision. "Grolles" ("Shoes," Bertrand de Croisilles, 38, France) is a dance musical in which a pair of leather shoes has the starring role. It invites the viewer to come along with the person wearing shoes and explore a virtual world. "The Dutch Touch" (Atsushi Ogata/Ingeborg Houwen, Tokyo) is an art performance work that takes a satirical look at life in the Netherlands. Both works are notable for its esprit and humor.
"Light Story" (Takashi Hattori, 20, Kyoto) attempts to visualize the author's obsession with "light", the source of all images. "Poisonous Plants" (Hitoshi Sato, 57, Tokyo) is a work describing an imaginary world in which its author searches for the landscape of a town dreamed up in his mind.
6. Personal exploration
One of the most important genres in home video is that of nature watching and exploration of things close to home. This year, by sheer coincidence, prizes were awarded to three works that focused on birds. "Peregrine" (Shuzo Horie, Hyogo) records in details the lives of a pair of falcons as they raise their fledglings on a sharp cliff. "Where the Little Plover Was Born" (Kunie Kawashima, 58, Tokyo) observes a family of plovers that the author found close to her home. She depicts their wobbly way of walking (in Japanese, "to walk like a plover" means "to stumble drunkenly"), and watches the chicks "turn to stone" to protect themselves from predators. The work admirably records the behavior of these tiny creatures as they struggle for life.
"45 Days Spent with a Little Bird" (Feng Yan Ping, 44, China) records a 45-day period from the time the author rescued a small bird and began caring for it until the time it had grown up and was ready to return to nature. The video adds a deeply meaningful and insightful narration to this simple sketch.
7. Satirical animations and computer graphics
Each year the Tokyo Video Festival sees tremendous progress in both the quality and quantity of the animations it receives. The advent of computer graphics is pushing forward video technology at a surprising speed, and this year TVF included many submissions that used animation to create strange, new worlds that would not have been possible with live photography.
Many of the best of these works came from overseas. "Meteor" (Shr-Ming Huang, 22, Taiwan) satirically comments on over-industrialization. "De Tripas Y Corazón" ("From Gut and Heart", Juan Pablo Etcheverry, 27, Spain) is a grotesque and humorous metaphor based on the tale of the rabbit and the snake and set inside the human body. "Monsieur Pou" (Frédérick Tremblay, Canada) is a tender depiction of a dream about being with a "Pou" doll. Each of these works uses different techniques to boldly create personal worlds.
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Selected for "TVF 2003 Awards"