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Awards and Events

'Under the Open Sky' Wins Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision at Seattle International Film Festival

Directed by Miwa Nishikawa, the short film was co-financed and produced by AOI Pro.

'Under the Open Sky' Wins Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision at Seattle 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 Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision at the 47th Seattle International Film Festival. This award is the film's another great success following the Best Performance Award for Koji Yakusho and Best International Feature Audience Choice Award at Chicago International Film Festival.

Beginning in 1976, the Seattle International Film Festival, one of the biggest international film festivals in the U.S., has annually celebrated the finest films from around the world for nearly five decades. This year the festival took place virtually from April 8 to 18, showcasing 92 features and 126 shorts from 69 countries. “Under the Open Sky” was the only Japanese film streamed in the festival.

The Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision is given to the female director's film that receives the most public votes at the Festival. It is one of the Audience Awards; the others are the Best Film, the Best Documentary and the Best Short Film.

​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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Producer: Taichi Ito

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Kana Ikeno

ASSISTANT PRODUCER: Megumi Omizo