Pitt's Japan Council gives out first Japan Documentary Film Award

The Japan Council of the University of Pittsburgh will celebrate Japanese filmmaker Kazuo Hara as Pitt’s first Japan Documentary Film Award winner.

Hara’s documentary, “Sennan Asbestos Disaster,” examines the struggles of dying former asbestos workers who have spent years suing the Japanese government, according to a news release.

The award ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. A screening of the film will follow at 6 p.m. All the events will be free and open to the public. Tickets can be found here. Seating is limited; RSVP required,

So far, the film has received the 2017 Audience Award at the Tokyo Filmex International Film Festival and the 2017 BIFF Mecenat Award at the Busan International Film Festival.

The ceremony is a part of the Japan Council’s efforts to foster a stronger understanding of Japan and Japanese culture for the Pitt community, the news release says. The award is supported by Japanese donors.

Robert Clift, an assistant professor in Pitt’s Film and Media Studies Program and a filmmaker, collaborated with Japanese documentary filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda to establish the awards committee.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Oyler (eaoyler@pitt.edu) or Charles Exley (exley@pitt.edu).

The film screening is co-presented by the Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 22 to 30.