The Japanese film "Rei" directed by Toshihiko Tanaka won the top Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, an annual event for up-and-coming filmmakers.
Tanaka's film, which explores human connections through a woman who embarks on a journey through the mountains and her encounter with a deaf photographer, was selected from 14 titles in the feature competition.
Rei is the first feature film by Tanaka, who is a former actor. The film stars Takara Suzuki as Hikari, a 30-something Tokyo woman who strikes up a relationship with deaf photographer Masato, played by Tanaka himself. The film examines themes of human relationships and disability in Japan.
Among the Japanese films nominated at the festival in the past, Akira Ikeda's "Anatomy of a Paper Clip" won the top prize in 2014.