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Japan's Hamaguchi wins runner-up Grand Jury Prize at Venice

'Evil Does Not Exist' bags awards in all top 3 film festivals as well as Oscars

Ryusuke Hamaguchi poses with the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize award for the movie "Aku wa Sonzai Shinai" (Evil Does Not Exist) at the 80th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, on Sept. 9.   © Reuters

VENICE (Kyodo) -- Oscar-winning Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's "Evil Does Not Exist" on Saturday won the runner-up Grand Jury Prize award at the 80th Venice International Film Festival.

With his latest feat, he follows the footsteps of renowned director Akira Kurosawa, who also bagged awards in all of the top three prestigious film festivals in Venice, Berlin and Cannes, as well as the Oscars in the United States.

Hamaguchi has garnered a string of global accolades, including notably for his work "Drive My Car," which won the best international feature at the 94th U.S. Academy Awards last year.

His winning piece in Venice depicts the tranquil and nature-centric life of a parent and his daughter in a village near Tokyo and how it is upended by a proposed high-end glamor camping, or "glamping," site that threatens the local water supply and ecology.

It has also been recognized most recently by the International Federation of Film Critics with the competition award.

The last time a Japanese filmmaker won the Golden Lion was in 1997 with Takeshi Kitano's crime drama "Hana-Bi."

Hamaguchi won best screenplay at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival in 2021 and was awarded the runner-up Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival for "Guzen to sozo" (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), a collection of three short stories on chance and coincidence each revolving around a woman.

The native of Kawasaki near Tokyo wrote the script for his latest film after receiving a request from musician Eiko Ishibashi, also the composer of "Drive My Car," to make a video for her live performance.

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