National

Fukatsu best actress at Montreal

'Akunin' role wins over judges; first Japanese female to take festival's top prize since 1983

Kyodo News

Eri Fukatsu has won the best actress award at the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival in Canada for her performance in “Akunin” (“Villain”), directed by Lee Sang Il, according to distributor Toho Co.

At the award ceremony Monday on the closing day of the 34th edition of the festival, Fukatsu expressed her thanks in French and said, “I think this is an award given to the (film’s) entire staff. I am very happy,” Toho said.

Fukatsu, also known for her role as the mistress of a gang boss in the 2008 movie “The Magic Hour,” became the second Japanese actress to take home the best actress trophy, after Yuko Tanaka, who won the prize in 1983 for “Amagi Goe.”

In “Akunin,” a tragic love story based on the novel of the same title by Shuichi Yoshida, Fukatsu plays a young woman who runs away with a construction worker who inadvertently killed someone.

The film, starring Satoshi Tsumabuki, will premiere across Japan on Saturday.

Past Japanese recipients of awards at the Montreal World Film Festival include Ken Takakura, who won the best actor prize in 1999 for his portrayal of an elderly railroad station master in “Poppoya” (“Railroad Man”).

In 2006, the Grand Prix was won by “Nagai Sanpo” (“A Long Walk”), directed by Eiji Okuda, and in 2008 the top award went to a Japanese film again — “Okuribito” (“Departures”), directed by Yojiro Takita.