Shin Godzilla (シン‧ゴジラ) was the top winner at the 40th Japan Academy Prize, held on March 3 in Tokyo.
The Hideaki Anno film won a total of seven grand prizes – Best Film, Best Director (for both Anno and co-director Shinji Higuchi), Best Cinematography, Best Lighting, Best Art Direction, Best Sound and Best Editing.
Even before its win at the award, Shin Godzilla has already earned the most accolades for any Japanese monster films, including Best Film at the Blue Ribbon Awards and three prizes at the Mainichi Film Award (including Best Film). It is the first film in the Godzilla series to win Best Film at the Academy Prize, as well as the first Academy Prize for Anno, the creator of the hugely popular Evangelion series. Anno, however, did not attend the ceremony due to work commitments.
Shinkai Makoto’s animation sensation Your Name (君の名は。) also made history as the first animated film in Academy Prize history to win the Best Screenplay award. The body-swapping fantasy romance – now the second highest-grossing Japanese film of all-time – also won Best Score and the Popularity Award, but it lost the Best Animated Film prize to indie hit In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に).
Tearjerker Her Love Boils Bathwater (湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛) also won two awards – a Best Actress prize for Rie Miyazawa (her third win) and a Best Supporting Actress prize for Hana Sugisaki, who plays Miyazawa’s daughter in the film. Miyazawa was also absent at the ceremony.
The Best Actor prize went to Koichi Sato for police drama 64 (64-ロクヨン-). This is the actor’s second Best Actor win and fourth Academy Prize overall. Satoshi Tsumabuki picked up his third Academy prize with a Best Supporting Actor win for ensemble drama Rage (怒り).
Clint Eastwood’s Sully won the Best Foreign Film award.