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Sitting across from me with his sunglasses, dark leather jacket and mohawk, Hiroyuki Tanaka — better known simply as Sabu — doesn’t look like the kind of guy who lets his emotions get the better of him, yet even he was almost brought to tears by the reaction his movie “Chasuke’s Journey” (“Ten no Chasuke”) received at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. His eighth visit to the event, it was his first time to receive a Golden Bear nomination.

“The actual ceremony sold out almost straight away so they put on an extra screening in the city,” recalls the 50-year-old director. “I decided to sneak in the back with the producer toward the end of the movie. When the credits came up people were on their feet, applauding and shouting bravo. Nobody knew I was in there, which made it extra special. I was so moved, I nearly cried.”

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