Oscar-winning Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's "Evil Does Not Exist" won the runner-up Grand Jury Prize award on Saturday at the 80th Venice International Film Festival.
With his latest feat, he follows in the footsteps of renowned director Akira Kurosawa, who also bagged awards at all of the top three prestigious film festivals in Venice, Berlin and Cannes, as well as at the Oscars in the United States.
The last time a Japanese filmmaker won an award at Venice was in 2020 when Kiyoshi Kurosawa won a Silver Lion for best director for "Wife of a Spy" (Spy no Tsuma), which followed the story of a couple in 1940 in the western Japan city of Kobe before the outbreak of World War II.
Hamaguchi has garnered a string of global accolades, including for his work "Drive My Car," which won the best international feature at the 94th U.S. Academy Awards last year.
The director wrote the script for the 106-minute film after he was requested by musician Eiko Ishibashi, who composed the score for "Drive My Car," to produce a video for her live performance.
"I never thought about receiving this wonderful award when the project began," Hamaguchi said in his award acceptance speech. "The music of Ms. Eiko Ishibashi, the originator of the project, led me to a job I have never experienced before."
His winning film in Venice depicts how the tranquil life of a man and his daughter in a village near Tokyo is upended by a proposed high-end glamor camping, or "glamping," site that threatens the local water supply and ecology.
The film was also recently recognized by the International Federation of Film Critics with the competition award.
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.