Japanese director bags Moscow award

Kyodo

Director Hideta Takahata’s “The Hotel Venus” won the prize for best director debut at the Moscow International Film Festival on Sunday.

The film, starring Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of the pop group SMAP as the owner of a cafe-boarding house, features Japanese and South Korean actors and Korean dialogue. Most of the film was shot in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The jury praised the film for bringing fresh vitality to the movie world through its unique characters and distinctive ways of videotaping landscape.

Takahata, a freelance director of TV variety shows and commercials, said the award was a “big surprise.”

The top prize went to “Svoi” (“Ours”) by Dmitry Meskhiyev of Russia. The film is set during the German advance into the Soviet Union in 1941.