Koji Yakusho Wins Best Performance for “Under the Open Sky” at Chicago International Film Festival

October 26, 2020

Tokyo – AOI Pro. is honored to announce that Koji Yakusho has won the Best Performance Award for “Under the Open Sky”, directed by Miwa Nishikawa, co-financed and produced by AOI Pro., at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. This is Koji Yakusho’s second award for his performance at the festival, following Shohei Imamura’s “Warm Water Under a Red Bridge” in 2001. To date, he is the only Japanese to ever win the award.

Jury comment: Yakusho Koji, skilfully and yet organically, brings to his character depth and a true range of emotions that allow us to journey with him as he struggles to gain a certain normal life in an apparently not easily forgiving society, solidly building the whole movie on his strong performance.

Celebrating its 56th edition October 14-25, 2020, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival. “Under the Open Sky” was among the 11 films in the International Feature Competition.


Mikami, an ex-yakuza of middle age with most of his life in prison, gets released after serving 13 years of sentence for murder. Hoping to find his long lost mother, from whom he was separated as a child, he applies for a TV show and meets a young TV director Tsunoda. Meanwhile, he struggles to get a proper job and fit into society. His impulsive, adamant nature and ingrained beliefs cause friction in his relationship with Tsunoda and those who want to help him.

AOI Pro. Staff

Producer Taichi Ito
Associate ProducerKana Ikeno
Assistant ProducerMegumi Omizo

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