Japan's Kitano Gets Lifetime Achievement Award At Italy Film Festival

Japan's Kitano

Award-winning Japanese film director Takeshi Kitano received a lifetime achievement award at the 24th Far East Film Festival in Italy on Friday.

His stage name in Japan was Beat Takeshi, and he received the Golden Mulberry Award for Lifetime Achievement because of his "stories that were personal and universal, that amused and shocked and captivated audiences everywhere," a presenter at the award event remarked.

"Kitano's films are beloved in Italy, where the country's largest Kitano film fan group was founded. Here, a Kitano-style religion has taken root, " the speaker made the comment.

In Udine, Italy, the Far East Film Festival began on April 22 and lasted for nine days.

The audience applauded Kitano as he remarked, "Thank you for (granting me) this amazing award." Kitano was in Japan virtually for the ceremony and thanked the audience for their support. “In order to offer my apologies and gratitude, I'd like to return to Italy with a new film the following time.”

Hana-Bi, a criminal drama that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1997, is one of Kitano's best-known works. So  is Zatoichi, a drama that won the Silver Lion for Best Direction at the festival in 2003.

The highest French honor, the Legion of Honor, was bestowed upon Kitano in 2016 for his role as Lawrence in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.

The Far East Film Festival's lifetime achievement award has previously been given to Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi and kung fu movie actor Jackie Chan.

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