"Ainu Mosir" movie filmed at Lake Akan wins international film festival award in Mexico as well
The movie “Ainu Mosir” focuses on Ainu culture, and was filmed in areas like Kushiro City’s Lake Akan Ainu Kotan settlement. It won Best Picture in the International Feature Film category at the “23rd Guanajuato International Film Festival”, Mexico’s largest film festival. This is the second award this movie has won at an international film festival.
The movie is a coming of age tale about a 14 year old boy, and a descendant of Japan’s indigenous Ainu people, set in the Lake Akan Ainu Kotan settlement. Date City-born director Takeshi Fukunaga started filming the movie in 2018 in Kushiro City with the desire to make, “A movie about the Ainu acted by Ainu actors.” Many local residents appeared in the film, including lead actor and Ainu descendant Kanto Shimokura. Shimokura was a second year Akanko Junior High School student during the filming.
The film festival was held from September 18 to 27 both online and in theaters in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. It featured a total of 3,344 films from 127 countries. Ten films were nominated for the International Feature Film category.
Ainu Mosir was highly praised for its warm rendering of the coming of age story of a young boy and its powerful depiction of a unique culture. In an interview director Fukunaga gave before the award ceremony, he touched on human rights issues for indigenous people in Mexico, and said, “The entire world must unite to improve problems. My wish is that movies can serve as motivation to reevaluate situations.”
The movie will show in Japanese theaters nationwide starting October 17. In Hokkaido, it will be released starting November 14 at Theater Kino (Sapporo) and November 20 at Aeon Cinema Kushiro (Kushiro Town) as well. Ainu Mosir also won a Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival in the US in April of this year.
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