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Keiichi Hara wins Fumiko Yamaji Cultural Award 2015

November 20, 2015

Director Keiichi Hara has been awarded with the 32nd annual Fumiko Yamaji Cultural Award. The recognition is offered by the Fumiko Yamaji Cultural Foundation, established in 1976 by Kobe-born actress Fumiko Yamaji (1912-2004), with the purpose of supporting achievments in the film industry. In the past, the same award was given to filmmakers such as Kon Ichikawa, Koji Wakamatsu and Toshio Suzuki.

The award ceremony will take place on November 27, 2015 at the Tokyo Shinbashi Yakult Hall.

Keiichi Hara was born in 1959. He worked extensively on popular family and children TV animated shows, such as Doraemon and especially Crayon Shin-chan, for which he initially served as episodic director under Mitsuru Hongo from 1992, and later as series director from 1996 to 2004. He also scripted ten Crayon Shin-chan movies, directing six. The 2001 Shin-chan franchise movie, entitled Crayon Shin-chan: Impetuous! The Adult Empire Strikes Back earned wide critical praise, and raised his profile. The following year's Crayon Shin-chan: Brilliant! The Great Battle of the Warring States was recommended by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and won five awards in Japan. Hara then shifted to independent filmmaking, pursuing more personal projects. International recognition came with Japan Academy Prize-winning Summer Days with Coo (2007) and especially with Colorful (2010), greeted with the Jury's Special Distinction and the Audience Award at Annecy 2011. Both movies received theatrical distribution in France and other countries. Hara admires classic Japanese filmmakers such as Yasujiro Ozu and Keisuke Kinoshita. To the latter, he dedicated his first live-action movie in 2013, Dawn of a Filmmaker: The Keisuke Kinoshita Story. His latest directorial effort, Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai, focusing on ukiyo-e master Hokusai's little-known yet highly talented daughter O-Ei, was awarded at Annecy, Fantasia, Sitges and Bucheon, and was described by French newspaper Le Monde as "a lesson of elegance."

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