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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER receives Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award @ Sapporo Short Film Fest

16th of September was my second day at the Nara Film Fest. Aside from having the second screenings of Last Fragments of Winter (sadly, I accidentally deleted the video from the Q and A session) and Tiny Pupil (I might upload that one later), I also revisited some places in Nara that I went to 4 years ago, like the Todaiji Temple.

I always felt that after visiting Todaiji, things had gone very well with my own filmmaking career. (two weeks after my Nara trip 4 years ago, I made Kingyo, then got invited to Venice Film Fest, while the two other earlier shorts like Love Suicides and Fleeting Images were also winning awards and going to different festivals, I think it all kinda started like that)

The temple was as majestic as I remembered.

Visiting Todaiji again in Nara

I also hung out with the deer.

Young woman attacked by cute friendly deer of Nara.

Finally, going back to my hotel in the evening, I decided to take a nap.

The nap lasted for an hour.

I woke up and saw that someone had just sent me a Tweet. It was Mina Hiroe, the actress.

She said "omedetou gozaimasu!", which meant "congratulations" in Japanese.

I was a little puzzled, because she seemed to be replying to an earlier post of mine that I sent to her few days earlier about having seen the short film she starred in at the Hokkaido Selection program.

So, my reply to her was a very witty tweet.

While doing this, I noticed director Isamu Hirabayashi tweet...


Isamu Hirabayashi: EEEHHHHH? (in reply to Toshiya Kubo's tweet that Matou had just won Best Experimental short)

That was when I realized that the award ceremony for Sapporo Short Fest was ongoing. And it dawned upon me that Mina Hiroe MIGHT be congratulating me for receiving an award. (... or she was probably just congratulating me for having see her film)

Moments later, as I checked the official website of Sapporo, my suspicions were confirmed, my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER had received a Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Award.

My dad had stayed back in Sapporo while I went off to Nara, and he had accepted the award on my behalf.

The next day, once I received a photo of my dad at the award ceremony, I posted it on Facebook.

"Last night, my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER, received a special award from the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency at the Sapporo Film Festival, Hokkaido.

私の作品『冬の断片 LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER』が札幌国際短編映画祭で、観光庁長官賞を受賞しました。

It's the first award for the short film.

I'm very flattered and surprised. This is a photo of my dad accepting the award on my behalf at the award ceremony last night. (I'm in Nara now, so wasn't able to attend this in person)

This happened because of the Last Fragments team. Kohei Ando, Woo Ming Jin, Foo Fei Ling, Yuiko Kato, Kong Pahurak, Teckzee Tan, Zac Lee, Tan Ley Teng, Arisa Koike, Kenny Chua

— with Derrick Lee, Woan Foong Wong, Aron Koh, KayLi Lum, Sandra Yeo and Chik Soon Come

(photo by Midori Tamate!)

I guess whenever I visit the Todaiji Temple, something good will really happen!