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AACTA Announces the Winner of the 2022 Best Asian Film Award

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced Japanese production, Drive My Car, as the winner of the 2022 AACTA Award for Best Asian Film.

 

This is the first AACTA Award for Drive My Car director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and adds to the film’s impressive haul of over 60 international awards it’s won to date, including three awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. In addition to these, the film recently received four Oscar nominations including Best Picture & Director, the first time ever for a Japanese film.

Adapted from a short story of the same name by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, this powerful yet touching road movie centres on two characters, Yusuke Kafuku and Misaki Watari who are going through their own personal anguish and grief – his over the loss of his wife, hers over the loss of her mother.   

Yusuke is a stage actor and director, commissioned to direct a play at a festival in Hiroshima. Misaki is an introverted young woman, appointed to drive his car. Over the course of the movie, most of which takes place inside his car (a glossy red Saab 900 Turbo), secrets from the past and heartfelt confessions are unveiled and they slowly start to reveal their trauma to each other. The more they reveal, the more they start to understand and trust each other, and can finally start to heal. 

Drive My Car director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi said (translated), “The actors and actresses took on the difficult task of visualizing the special and unique world of this work. Thanks to their wonderful expressive skills I feel that this film is now reaching the world in a very wonderful way. I am also very happy that the film has reached as far as Australia - across the ocean... I would like to express my gratitude to the entire cast and crew for this award.”

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said “While all nominees for our Best Asian film have great strengths, Drive My Car is a standout masterpiece that stays in your mind long after you’ve left the cinema. Our congratulations go to the director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi ­– and to all the cast and crew”.

To view Ryusuke Hamaguchi's acceptance speech, click here.

The Best Asian Film Award is the cornerstone of AACTA’s International Engagement Program, which celebrates the work and expertise of Australia’s closest northern Asian neighbours. Now in its 5th year the award acknowledges the increasing popularity, importance, and influence of Asian cinema in Australia and around the world.

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