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Awards and Events

'Under the Open Sky' Becomes Double Winner at Chicago International Film Festival

The films wins Best International Feature Audience Choice Award and Best Performance Award for Koji Yakusho

'Under the Open Sky' Becomes Double Winner at Chicago International Film Festival

AOI Pro. has announced that Miwa Nishikawa's 'Under the Open Sky', co-financed and produced by AOI Pro., has won the Best International Feature Audience Choice Award at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. The film has become a double winner of the festival, following the Best Performance Award for Koji Yakusho earlier this week.

Regarding the Best International Feature Audience Choice Award, the Festival commented: Hirokazu Kore-eda protégée Miwa Nishikawa takes home the Best International Feature Audience Choice Award with 'Under the Open Sky' (Subarashiki Sekai), her compassionate yet pointed tale chronicling an ex-con’s rough re-entry into civil society. In and out of institutions - from orphanages to juvenile homes and penitentiaries - since childhood, former Yakuza Mikami is released from his most recent 13-year stint in prison. But what comes next? Bolstered by friends and allies in unexpected places, Mikami must adapt to life on the outside as he struggles to secure both employment and a new sense of self.

The jury commented for Best Performance: Yakusho Koji, skilfully and yet organically, brings to his character depth and a true range of emotions that allow us to journey with him as he struggles to gain a certain normal life in an apparently not easily forgiving society, solidly building the whole movie on his strong performance.

Celebrating its 56th edition 14th - 25th October 2020, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival. 'Under the Open Sky' was among the 11 films in the International Feature Competition.

In the film, Mikami, an ex-yakuza of middle age with most of his life in prison, gets released after serving 13 years of sentence for murder. Hoping to find his long lost mother, from whom he was separated as a child, he applies for a TV show and meets a young TV director Tsunoda. Meanwhile, he struggles to get a proper job and fit into society. His impulsive, adamant nature and ingrained beliefs cause friction in his relationship with Tsunoda and those who want to help him.


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AOI Pro. Staff

Producer: Taichi Ito

Associate Producer: Kana Ikeno

Assistant Producer: Megumi Omizo