Lifetime Achievement Award: Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike is unquestionably one of the most prolific filmmakers of all time. He has handled over 90 directorial efforts, in cinema, television, and even on the stage, since his debut in 1991 with EYECATCH JUNCTION and LADY HUNTER: PRELUDE TO MURDER. What he has brought to the field, however, goes beyond simple statistics. It is his unique and uncompromising vision, and his remarkable capacity for rewriting the rulebook of genre cinema that have established his colossal influence throughout the world. He was among the architects of the recent J-horror wave with AUDITION and ONE MISSED CALL, transformed the yakuza genre with works like GOZU and the DEAD OR ALIVE trilogy, and took the samurai film into new territory with IZO. Takashi Miike has never feared controversy, openly invting it with ICHI THE KILLER, VISITOR Q, and IMPRINT, his contribution to the MASTERS OF HORROR series. His versatility is legendary, as evidenced by his excursions into countless genres including the musical comedy (HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS, FOR LOVE’S SAKE), the Western (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO), kid’s film (NINJA KIDS!!!), superheroes (ZEBRAMAN), video game adaptation (ACE ATTORNEY), the suspense thriller (SHIELD OF STRAW) and low-budget, humanist comedy (SHANGRI-LA). With the screening of FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATION in 1997, Fantasia was the first North American festival to showcase the rebellious œuvre of this filmmaker, and has since shown 30 of his films, including TERRFORMARS and AS THE GODS WILL this year! We are honoured to have Mr. Miike present at the festival this summer, and to award him a prize recognizing a career that has marked Fantasia more than any other, that of a true living legend of genre cinema.