Since 2004, the Tokyo International Film Festival has included, among its other awards, the Akira Kurosawa Award. The award is given to to film directors and producers who have through their works found a harmonic balance between excellent artistic qualities and high entertainment values, and who have as a result contributed to the development of world cinema.
This year’s award was given yesterday, and the recipients were Milos Forman and Kon Ichikawa. In their information package, Forman is described as being
“one of the few foreign directors to achieve international success without being pigeon-holed by genre or nationality. His films celebrate individualism and concentrate on individual human behavior.” (source)
Kon Ichikawa, meanwhile, is perhaps best known for us Kurosawa enthusiasts as being one of the Four Knights (with Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita and Masaki Kobayashi) who set up the Committee of Four Knights, which fell apart with the failure of Kurosawa’s Dodeskaden in the box office. Ichikawa, born in 1915, has directed close to ninety movies, with his best known works made in the 1950s and 60s, when he collaborated with his screenwriting wife, Natto Wada.